Rantz: Prolific offender accused in brutal assault; media ignores that the suspect is homeless
A prolific offender was charged for an alleged brutal assault against a 62-year-old nurse walking out of a Seattle light rail station. Police say the suspect is homeless.
Alexander Jay, 40, is charged with second-degree assault. The King County Prosecutor’s Office (KCPO) says surveillance video shows Jay throwing the victim down a flight of stairs multiple times. The victim suffered three broken ribs and a broken clavicle.
The media doesn’t mention the accused is homeless. And even though it mattered at the time, the Seattle Times withheld the suspect’s race.
Assault caught on surveillance footage
The surveillance footage is difficult to watch. It’s a brutal assault.
The victim is seen walking up the stairs, exiting Union Station just before noon on March 2. The suspect in the footage, identified as Jay by KCPO, is seen running up the escalator to meet the victim at the top of the stairwell.
Jay, looking calm and composed, approaches the victim. He grabs her, drags her towards the stairwell, and throws her down it. The victim tumbles head over feet about a quarter of the way down the stairs. She hits her head and back hard before coming to a stop on the first stairwell landing.
Jay then trots down the stairwell, picks her up, and throws her down the stairs again. The victim grabs the guardrail on the way down and stops herself from tumbling toward the next landing on the long stairwell. Jay goes after her again. He tries to pick her up and throw her down the remainder of the stairs as the victim hangs on to the guardrail. He appears to stomp on the woman hard as he tries to break her grip on the guardrail.
Jay soon gives up and casually walks up the stairs and leaves. Two passersby, who appear homeless, watch and do nothing as they walk away. The victim struggles to walk away for help. Security arrives to help, but Jay gets on a bus and escapes.
Alexander Jay was arrested the next day
Police say the assault was completely unprovoked. The victim underwent surgery to “plate” the clavicle, according to police.
Luckily, however, the victim got a good look at Jay.
“The male who assaulted her was in the same car on the light rail train with her, facing her,” a detective writes in the probable cause certificate. “She was standing, and he was seated. They had no interaction or confrontation. He continued to pull his mask down while on the light rail, and she got a good look at his face. The cross [tattoo] on his face stood out to her, and she recognized him as the same male who later assaulted her.”
Using surveillance, Seattle police were able to track down Jay. They made an arrest the following day about a half-mile from the location of the assault. He was booked on a Department of Corrections warrant and faces arraignment on March 24.
Alexander Jay has a long criminal history
Jay has a number of convictions, according to the KCPO. They come from Washington and California.
“There have been seven cases involving Mr. Jay that have been referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in the last five years,” a KCPO spokesperson said. “We obtained convictions in five of those cases, one is the current case, and the last case was later sent for filing in municipal court.”
Among his many crimes, Jay has seen at least 22 convictions. They include domestic violence, first-degree theft, trafficking in stolen goods, and possession of a controlled substance. His most recent conviction was for a 2021 residential burglary from Bellevue.
Seattle Times withheld Jay’s race
Before Jay was arrested, SPD put out a public alert on their online blog.
“The woman described the suspect as a Black male, approximately 30 years old, 6 feet tall, thin build, wearing a grey sweatshirt, grey sweatpants, dirty white tennis shoes, and a dark grey or green puffy jacket. He also had a distinctive cross tattoo on his left cheek,” the police wrote.
Using the blog as their source, the Seattle Times published a piece about 90 minutes later. They describe the suspect but leave out his race.
“The 62-year-old woman described the suspect as 6 feet tall with a thin build and who appeared to be in his 30s, police said. He had a cross tattooed on his left cheek, she said,” Daisy Zavala reported.
The suspect’s race isn’t directly relevant to the crime. There’s no suggestion he attacked his victim for being white.
But the woke, race-obsessed Seattle Times made a curious decision to exclude the suspect’s race when he was out on the loose. The detail was relevant in the context of being used to help locate him.
Seattle outlets skip the homeless part
Is Jay’s status as homeless relevant to the story? Absolutely. Activists and politicians continue to pretend that Seattle’s homeless population isn’t dangerous; that they’re just like you or me, just one paycheck away from a life on the streets.
I obviously don’t know why these two outlets ignored the important detail. Perhaps they did an investigation and found police erred in the homeless designation? If so, perhaps they should report that. Maybe it was a mere oversight — they missed the detail in the police report. It happens.
But too often, generally speaking, left-wing reporters and editors believe that if they label a criminal homeless, it’ll somehow define the entire homeless population. It’s a ridiculous position fueled by ideology, bias, and ignorance.
It’s a part of the story
Do media members withhold a profession when an officer is involved in a shooting? No. They lean into it while some, ironically, actively try to frame a narrative that all cops are violent, dangerous, and racist.
While the majority of homeless people aren’t violent criminals, a good portion of them are. Many are also prolific criminals with long records. Others are addicts or mentally ill, both of which can be the cause of some of the violence we see. These facts should inform how the city handles the problems. It should also guide the rest of us on how we must be more aware of our surroundings while walking around the city.
Living in an echo chamber might blind some media members from the reality of Seattle. As a reminder: We have both a prolific offender problem and a homelessness crisis in Seattle. When they intersect, pointing it out matters — especially if you hope to actually solve the problem.
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