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Rantz: Seattle resident attacked by a homeless man, thought he was shot

A Seattle man was attacked by a homeless man on a drive home after shopping in the SoDo neighborhood over the weekend. He thought he had been shot.

Unfortunately, it’s a sight so many of us are familiar with in and around Seattle: homeless people everywhere, including some dealing with mental health problems or addiction. For Taylor, it was just another afternoon in Seattle.

“I was at an intersection and saw a homeless guy, sort of to my left, across the street… yelling and acting up,” Taylor tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. For privacy, he asked that I not use his last name. “I didn’t really pay any attention to it as he was yelling… at the world… I didn’t think anything of it. Just sort of regular sort of homeless activity, I guess.”

But then suddenly there was a “huge explosion of glass” from the driver’s side window.

“My window explodes, my driver’s side window, [and I] feel huge thud in my shoulder,” Taylor explains. “My first reaction is ‘you’ve been shot.’ Like someone came up beside you and just shot you.”

He quickly drove a few blocks away, thinking he was in imminent danger, before he pulled over to inspect what happened. He checked his body

“I was checking my shoulder and I pull my jacket off, checking my chest to make sure, you know, there’s no blood,” Taylor explained. “There’s no holes in my jacket. There’s nothing like that, you know, looking around the car, there’s glass everywhere. So I’m trying to be really careful with all the shattered glass as well.”

He soon realized what had happened: the homeless man threw a substantial rock through his window. In fact, the homeless man had been causing quite a scene on 4th near the West Seattle Bridge.

Taylor called 9-1-1 to explain what happened, though the homeless man was not arrested. It turns out the operator made a mistake.

Someone had already called the police to report the man and cops had arrived. As a result, the operator didn’t take Taylor’s information. After the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH intervened, the police have since reached out to him and have scheduled an interview so they can investigate.

“Information that was relevant to this particular police investigation wasn’t shared with responding officers,” Sgt. Sean Whitcomb told me. “We are researching how this happened so we can take preventative steps to stop it from happening again in the future. We’re working to make sure the damage to the victim’s car is investigated fully.”

Taylor holds no grudges with the operator and certainly not the police. But he’s sad that this will likely be a case of a homeless criminal neither getting the help he clearly needs nor the punishment he clearly deserves.

“If you’re not going to arrest them and take that route, then you better get a system in place that can help these people, truly get the help that they need and to get better,” Taylor says. “It there is a mental illness or an addiction and there’s something that we can, as a community, do to help them… there needs to be something done.”

Seattle has been plagued with prolific offenders wreaking havoc on city streets, frequently attacking passers-by, including a toddler. The criminals either do some time, or are just released back on to the streets, many dealing with mental health issues or addiction. But they’re not getting treated and the city does little to nothing to ensure that they do. But since they won’t put people in jail for these assaults with any meaningful time or help, they reoffend.

“We, you and I, sitting here right now want these people to be better and get better,” Taylor says.

He’s right. The problem in the city of Seattle has shown no ability or willingness to get these people help. That means, unfortunately, that someone else is likely to experience what Taylor just did.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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