JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle City Attorney releases prolific offender, nearly kills man hours later

Dec 30, 2020, 5:25 PM | Updated: Dec 31, 2020, 10:15 am
pete holmes, Seattle City Attorney...
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. (AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The office of Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes released a prolific offender after an assault arrest with no charges. That suspect then nearly stomped a separate man to death just a few hours later with kicks “so forceful and loud” a witness heard it from inside a car.

Holmes’ office blames “proof issues” for denying an original charge against the suspect. But the incident report reveals a different story.

This is the latest in a long list of cases highlighting the city’s light-on-crime approach that will get someone killed. Holmes bears the responsibility. How many victims must Holmes create before he does the honorable thing and steps down?

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Seattle City Attorney lets assault suspect off with barely a warning

Abdalla Jama, 29, (also known as Ardalla Jama) is a prolific offender with an apparent penchant for assault.

On Christmas night, police allege Jama assaulted a security guard in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood just after 10 p.m. According to an incident report, the suspect was picking fights with patrons at an unnamed establishment. When the guard intervened, Jama allegedly swung at the guard before head-butting him.

Police arrested Jama and booked him into King County Jail for misdemeanor assault. Hours later, the Assistant City Attorney declined to file criminal charges and released Jama without conditions.

The city attorney’s office routinely reduce their caseloads by dropping charges. This office routinely opts to forgo prosecution and instead offer a seemingly endless amount of chances to turn one’s life around, even when suspects show no interest in doing so. It’s led to a deadly prolific offender problem that has plagued the city for years, leading to the rising Seattle crime rates.

In fact, by quickly releasing Jama, they made it easier for him to nearly murder a man the very next day.

The alleged brutal beatdown

The night of his release, Jama was arrested for a felonious assault in City Hall Park.

Citing a witness, police allege Jama knocked a 62-year-old man to the ground, before repeatedly stomping on his face, even as the victim appeared to be unconscious. According to charging documents, “the kicks were so forceful and loud the witness could hear them from inside a car.”

The photos of the victim are so graphic, I cannot publish them.

The incident report says the suspect admitted to the fight and police note they discovered blood on his boot that they believe belonged to the victim.

The victim was unresponsive at the scene and was admitted to the ICU. It’s unclear what led to the fight, though the witness says it may have been a simple argument that escalated.

Jama shouldn’t have been released earlier that morning by Pete Holmes’ office. Yet he was. Why?

Holmes doesn’t take crime seriously

Holmes has a history of downplaying serious crimes in Seattle. He has an ideological aversion to jail, which is odd for someone who chooses to serve as a city attorney. He’s in a job that should protect the public from criminals. But he’s using his post to create more victims, protecting criminals instead of innocent citizens.

In the first assault case, a spokesperson for Holmes claims there were “proof issues” to justify the assistant city attorney choosing not to pursue the charges against Jama. After prodding, the spokesperson explained filing prosecutors use “their training and experience” to determine it they believed, based on the evidence, the jury would convict. In this case, they didn’t think so.

This is abject nonsense. You have the victim who was head-butted on the record with a suspect with a long criminal history. If you can’t get a jury to convict, you should get another job. More likely, this isn’t a question of whether or not they can get a conviction. It’s whether or not they want a conviction.

Jama has a troubled, violent history, appears to suffer from mental illness, and should never have been released by Holmes or the assistant city attorney.

He’s a prolific offender

Just a couple months ago, in October, Jama was accused of assaulting someone at a homeless shelter in Seattle.

According to the police report, Jama had started some kind of disturbance before strangling a victim with both hands before striking him repeatedly. There were three witnesses to the assault.

He ended up pleading guilty but, under Judge Catherine McDowall’s ruling, he only spent 15 days in jail and the $5,000 fine was suspended. McDowall is a former prosecutor in Seattle, which could explain the light sentence. Or perhaps there was a recommendation from the prosecutor on the case, Sarah Macdonald. Either way, it was the wrong decision.

This isn’t the end of Jama’s criminal history. He has a Use of Weapon conviction from 2019, and when he lived in Colorado, he was convicted of two separate instances of assault, burglary, theft, false statement, and the King County Prosecutor’s Office says he may have also received a deferred sentence on assault in the second degree.

Jama appears to be a bad person. Yet not bad enough for Holmes to take seriously.

How many people need to be victimized?

I have a simple question for Holmes and his derelict staff: How many people must be victimized for them to do their job? They can hide behind claims of not enough evidence all they want. But the data speaks for itself.

The city attorney’s office rejects about half of the cases sent their way, Holmes is open about his ideological views, and has the shadiest of track records.

Holmes is part of a system that gives endless chances to the most degenerate of criminals and they keep breaking the law. Holmes doesn’t seem to care.

So, Holmes owes us a number. He should tell us the number of victims we must reach before he either decides it’s time to do his job or when he’ll just quit in absolute shame.

There are some that blame COVID for the rise in crime we’re experiencing. You know who believes that talking point? Stupid people. Take a look at what’s happening. The city attorney’s office seldom charges. When they get charged, many judges release criminals with little regard for the general public.

The common refrain from activists like Holmes is that these prolific offenders — many struggling with mental illness or addiction — won’t get treated for their underlying causes in jail. This is true.

But they’re also not getting help when they’re not in jail for the very real crimes they’re committing. What they are doing is continuing down a path that creates more and more victims out of innocent civilians and will ultimately lead to a murder (or their own death). They’re better off in jail. We’re better off with them in jail, too.

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, Instagram, and Parler and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Seattle City Attorney releases prolific offender, nearly kills man hours later