Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 58-year-old Portland man Tuesday after he allegedly tried to break into a woman’s house in Kalama with a loaded gun, according to court documents.
Matthew Wellnitz was arrested on suspicion of first-degree burglary, violation of a no-contact order and carrying a concealed pistol without a permit. Wellnitz did not have a license to carry a concealed pistol, and the woman had a no-contact order barring him from contacting her or coming near her home in the 100 bock of Daves View Drive.
The woman also said Wellnitz had previously made threats to kill her.
Deputies responded to the home early Tuesday morning when the woman reported seeing Wellnitz trying to open different doors and windows around the house. They saw a vehicle registered to Wellnitz parked near the house. It contained a Ruger pistol box and a case of beer with several cans missing, according to the court documents.
Officers found Wellnitz laying face-down in the house’s roadway and discovered a loaded pistol tucked into his pants. There was “an extremely strong smell of intoxicants” coming from Wellnitz, who claimed he was at the house to “check on the trees” and denied attempting to enter, the report continued.
Wellnitz told officers he was armed for his own safety.
A video the woman gave to deputies clearly show Wellnitz attempting to enter the house, the court documents said. When questioned, Wellnitz said he had tried to enter the house so he could “check on” items inside the garage.
Wellnitz has a prior conviction for abusive language towards the woman in 2017.