Olympia man brutally beaten in park afraid repeat offender will walk free

Jan 26, 2020, 8:13 AM
Udo was attacked near Capitol Lake in Olympia. (Nicole Jennings/KIRO Radio)
(Nicole Jennings/KIRO Radio)

Every day for many years, Udo has walked his dog in Evergreen Park near Capitol Lake in Olympia. It’s a family-filled bit of nature where he has always felt safe.

“They just enjoy it — the people enjoy it, the dogs enjoy it, it’s a family park, the kids are playing,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

One November day while on his routine walk, he noticed a person under a plastic cover who looked to be unconscious.

“I had the idea, ‘I must do something to help,'” he said.

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Udo called for help, then started walking away with his dog. All of a sudden, the man on the ground rose up, tore off his plastic covering, and brutally assaulted Udo.

“I was attacked from behind, beaten down, I lost consciousness with, I think it was the first hit … he hit me on the head, in the face, and the throat, so I passed out,” he said.

Luckily, two women at a nearby office building saw the relentless attack out the window and ran out to help. Udo credits them with saving his life.

“If these ladies wouldn’t have come, I wouldn’t be talking [right now],” he said. “Because he didn’t stop.”

According to Medium, the alleged attacker, identified as Grant Brannaman, gave Udo a concussion, broken nose, two black eyes, and numerous other cuts and bruises.

In the police report, Brannaman bragged about his fighting skills and insulted the heritage of Udo, who immigrated here from Germany. His long rap sheet includes a 2016 rape conviction in Oregon and, more recently, an indecent exposure charge for running naked through Heritage Park fountain, a ground-level public fountain downtown Olympia that is enjoyed by kids in the summertime. Because of his previous sex offenses, the indecent exposure charge would be considered a felony if he is convicted.

Udo soon found that Brannaman had allegedly gone after other innocent victims in the Olympia area. A young mother in the neighborhood told Udo that Brannaman had chased her all the way to her door.

“It frightens me — not only me, all the neighbors,” Udo said.

Brannaman allegedly told police that his lawyer can get him acquitted of any crime by arguing that he is mentally ill.

“If they let him run, he’ll do it again,” Udo said.

Udo has lived in several countries in Western Europe, including Germany and the Netherlands. There, he said, people who are mentally incompetent are not let off the hook for crimes, but remain in jail until a place opens up in a psychiatric facility.

“Even in very liberal countries, guys like that stay in prison,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Olympia man brutally beaten in park afraid repeat offender will walk free