Chehalis Man Faces Felony Charge After Weeks of Arrests on Misdemeanors

By The Chronicle

A Chehalis man arrested at least four times in the past week made his first appearance Monday in Lewis County Superior Court on a felony charge. 

James P. Sauter, 54, was charged Monday with possession of a controlled substance. He was granted $5,000 bail and released from the jail Monday evening. 

Sauter was most recently arrested Friday on suspicion of disorderly conduct. According to the Chehalis Police Department, officers responded at 9:15 a.m. Friday to a report of a man in the 500 block of North Market Boulevard shaking a woman’s vehicle while she was inside it. 

Police arrested Sauter on the disorderly conduct charge and reported finding pills identified as controlled substances. Sauter reportedly told police he had prescriptions, but did not have the bottles with him. 

Earlier that morning, at 8:40 a.m., Centralia police officers issued a court summons to Sauter in the 200 block of West Reynolds Avenue on suspicion of unlawful discharge of a laser for allegedly aiming a laser at passing motorists. 

Sauter was previously arrested May 15 in Chehalis. According to the police department, dispatchers received several reports, starting at about 6:30 p.m. that day, of a disorderly man threatening customers at a Chehalis business. Police received a report of what they believed to be the same suspect harassing people on at least three other occasions in the area. Sauter was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue. 

A few days earlier, on May 12, Chehalis police responded at about 3:40 p.m. to a report of harassment in the 1200 block of Bishop Road. 

A woman reported a man in a large truck was revving his engine, then activated red and blue lights in the grill of the truck. 

The man, identified as Sauter, reportedly made derogatory comments and threatened the woman, according to the police report.

Sauter reportedly did not verbally identify himself as a police officer, according to the report. Law enforcement officers issued Sauter a warning, but he was not arrested. 

He also has a pending case from April, in which he was charged with fourth-degree assault.