Bellevue man pleads guilty after trying to set roommate on fire

A 45-year-old Bellevue man pleaded guilty on Sept. 19 for attempted assault in the first degree after trying to set his roommate on fire in December. His trial date is set for Oct. 31.

According to court documents, on Dec. 4, 2022, Ruben Evaristo Lopez-Perez approached his roommate in their Bellevue apartment. Lopez-Perez had a gasoline container, dumped its contents on the victim and around the apartment — the responding officers later noted the liquid smelled like gasoline — produced a lighter, pushed the victim to the ground and attempted to light the victim on fire.

The victim fought back to prevent the defendant from activating his lighter, and the other two roommates intervened, according to documents.

The victim suffered visible injuries to his face and arm during the attack. The officer said the victim did not recall any turmoil between him and Lopez-Perez. But it was noted Lopez-Perez stated, “It’s your fault,” during the attack, documents show.

Lopez-Perez was not in the apartment when officers and detectives arrived at the Palisades Apartments. However, Lopez-Perez later returned to the apartment parking lot, and two officers initiated a traffic stop, finding Lopez-Perez with a bottle of alcohol in his hand, several bottles in his truck and the smell of alcohol on him, according to documents.

Lopez was taken to the Overlake hospital for a blood draw, then to King County Jail. Lopez-Perez has no prior convictions or criminal history.