JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Homeless stranger brutally attacked man in downtown Seattle, victim says

Jan 17, 2023, 9:23 AM | Updated: 9:52 am

Casey moved to Seattle five years ago to help care for his mother. After being brutally attacked in downtown Seattle by a homeless man, Casey is the one who now needs to be cared for.

The 32-year-old hopped off the bus one Thursday morning on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle, having just spent two days with his mother in West Seattle. He walked into the nearby 7-Eleven to get cash out of the ATM and when he left, he found himself being pummeled from behind by a stranger. As a result of the attack, he said his head was cut open, and his femoral neck bone was broken.

“He held me with my backpack and just kept punching me, and kind of holding me that way, and swinging me around and hitting me, and hitting me. There was so much blood coming down my face I couldn’t see. And he throws me to the ground and then stomps on my left leg,” Casey exclusively told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Casey said the attack was random and the suspect didn’t try to steal anything from him, including the cash he picked up from the ATM.

“When I was on the ground, he kicked me in the head twice,” Casey later explained.

Seattle police arrived within a few minutes of the assault, but the suspect had already left. Casey said the man was homeless, mumbling something he couldn’t understand, and appearing high or drunk while holding a can of what he thought was beer. Police say the suspect was caught on surveillance video, but was not apprehended, according to an incident report.

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‘He’s taken… my sense of security’

The attack happened in October last year, but Casey is coming forward now because he spent the last several months recuperating. He said he had a plate and two screws put into his leg, and he’s still struggling to walk. He’s also consumed by nightmares about what happened and said he’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I haven’t been able to walk. It’s cost me, you know, not being able to take care of my mom, having my partner take care of everything for me, basically. It’s cost a lot. It’s not just like he took my mobility for me. He’s taken other things like my sense of security in a way and feeling comfortable going around places now. I definitely don’t want to ever go near Third Avenue,” he said.

Casey said he emailed the Seattle city council and mayor’s office about what happened, but only heard back from councilmember Lisa Herbold, who offered a victim’s advocacy resource. 

 

A warning about Seattle

Now, Casey wants people to understand how much Seattle is changing, where “it’s an allowed thing” to openly smoke fentanyl or camp out where you want. And it’s creating a dangerous environment for us to live in.

“I think possibly the drugs. I think it could be the mass amount of drugs that are going around the streets, and the homelessness. I think that maybe there needs to be more services. I don’t want to sound like we should be giving people free housing,” Casey explained. “If you’re on the streets, you’re there because I think you want to be. I know there are situations like mental health and things. I’ve struggled myself. I have high-functioning autism. But there comes a point where you decide, ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to stay out here.’ And rather than seek help because there’s so much hope out here. I’ve known so many people that have gotten help, who’ve gotten in programs.”

The city’s laissez-faire approach to homelessness has taken its toll, with encampments taking over neighborhoods, bringing with it crime, drug use, and garbage. While under Mayor Bruce Harrell, there have been some sweeps, particularly downtown, the homeless know they can just move to another block, park, or alleyway without any consequences. And with a council that has only two members — Sara Nelson and Alex Pedersen — pushing for more urgent action, the crisis is unlikely to get better anytime soon.

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