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Rantz: 68-year-old sucker-punched by Seattle prolific offender

Another prolific offender attack in Seattle, this time against a 68-year-old man on his way home from Bible study with his wife. (AP)

A 68-year-old man was sucker-punched by a Seattle prolific offender Sunday evening. The attack on Fourth and Pike is the latest example of Downtown Seattle crime in an area where Mayor Jenny Durkan has promised to increase patrols.

Steve Beren is a political and marketing consultant. He and his wife were on their way home from Bible Study when a man attacked him unprovoked. Beren and his wife normally take light rail back to their Capitol Hill residence, but the station was closed for weekend construction. This time the couple waited for a bus. As they waited, the suspect yelled at them.

“I heard someone yell, ‘I’m gonna knock your glasses’ or something like that,” Beren exclusively tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “And the next thing I know, I was punched in my left eye.”

Beren has limited vision in his left eye, so he says he was “literally blindsided.”

There were several witnesses to the attack. Beren’s wife called 911 to report the assault, while in tears.

Sources identify the suspect as Senai Hankerson, a Seattle prolific offender with a criminal history that includes felonies. An address for Hankerson was not listed and he is currently in jail.

Several assaults

Seattle police responded to the incident within minutes, but the suspect had already run away. And he allegedly continued to assault passers-by.

“It started with me, and then he was working his way, east on Pike, from Fourth and Pike, towards the Paramount Theater, going and beating up people and punching people,” Beren explained.

According to a police report, there were at least two other victims.

One victim claims Hankerson yelled, “I’ll show you what violence looks like” before punching him in the face with a closed fist. A third victim was described in the police report, but the injuries are unclear. All three victims declined medical assistance.

Finally, cops caught up to the suspect.

The police report says Hankerson “refused to obey any directions or orders but continued to walk around and verbally state he was not going to cooperate.” The suspect was eventually arrested when back up arrived.

Prolific offender

Hankerson appears to be a prolific offender.

The police report says the suspect has “an outstanding felony DOC escape warrant” out against him. And the King County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the suspect believed to be the offender in this case “pleaded guilty to Attempting to Elude a Pursuing Police Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Vehicle, and VUCSA [Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act] in 2014. Those are felonies.”

Jail records say he was booked at least three times in 2019.

This crime comes as Mayor Durkan announced an increase in police patrols in the area after the January mass shooting by gang-members, which left one dead and seven wounded, including a nine-year-old child. Police arrested all three suspects.

Durkan and the Seattle City Council insist we don’t have a Seattle crime problem. They claim crime data suggests we’re a safe city of our side. The Seattle Crime Dashboard, which is supposed to help inform the public, has not been updated since May, 2019. Data that is available suggests we’ve seen an increase in reported cases of rape and an increase in shots fired.

“I have compassion for the mentally ill and the alcoholics and the homeless people,” Beren explains. “And I have anger towards the mayor and City Council and the bureaucracy for using those people as political pawns to set up committees … to make five year plans for this, 10 year plans for that, spending money and raising taxes, but not do anything to address the people and actually help the people.”

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. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

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