As reported here last night, 37-year-old Amy Lynn O’Brien is now charged with hit-and-run and second-degree assault in connection with the attack one week ago on two teenage girls across from their school, Chief Sealth International High School – and that she had gotten out of jail shortly after those charges were filed.
This morning, we have a copy of the charging documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Asked why O’Brien was allowed out of jail, KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe says that while prosecutors asked that her bail remain at $250,000, a judge granted her request to be freed on “personal recognizance.”
Ahead new details from the charging documents – we’re transcribing them in two installments, and you can read (as of 10:59 am) both, ahead:
In the request for bail to remain at a quarter-million dollars, the prosecutor summarized:
The incident appears to have arisen out of a misunderstanding over Ms. O’Brien’s unleashed dog. After confronting the victims and their friends about their interaction with the pet, Ms. O’Brien got in her car and drove after the students, who were returning to the school after lunch. Ms. O’Brien followed the students in her vehicle, exited, and then approached them, armed with a taser. She was apparently angry over how her dog had been treated. The students fled when they saw Ms. O’Brien and heard the crackle of her taser.
Ms. O’Brien then returned to her car again and pursued them. When she saw the students again, she drove her car straight at the two young women. Witnesses estimate that Ms. O’Brien’s speed was around 40 miles an hour when she struck the victims. According to one eyewitness, the force of impact caused by Ms. O’Brien’s two-thousand-plus-pound vehicle traveling at that speed threw the young women 20 feet in the air.
The defendant presents a significant danger to the community.
As a result of Ms. O’Brien striking the two young women with her car, both victims suffered significant injuries, including loss of consciousness, a concussion for one, and a nearly severed ear for another. Ms. O’Brien has no known criminal history.
For even more details, the narrative written by a Seattle Police detective:
On 11-28-12, at approximately 1000 hrs, (victim 1) and (victim 2) were walking to school (Chief Sealth) located in the 2600 block of SW Thistle … The girls were walking with other female friends and they were returning to the school. (Victim 1) told detectives they were walking in the 8600 block of 26th SW when two dogs ran up to them as they were walking. One of the dogs was a pit bull. She stated they discovered the dogs were friendly and they were petting them when (victim 2) ended up either falling into the dog or pushing it. The owner of the dog was a white female who came out and began to yell at (victim 2) for “hitting” the dog. (Victim 1) stated (Victim 2) attempted to apologize several times. (Victim 1) stated the dog never yelped or ran off in pain but actually was wagging its tail. As they attempted to explain what had happened, the woman (later ID’d as O’Brien) struck (victim 2) in the chest. (Victim 1) stated a fight erupted between the two and she attempted to break it up. O’Brien then stopped and began to call police to report an assault.
As uniformed officers of SPD were dispatched to investigate this call, the girls, along with their friends, walked away from the female and cut through the houses eastbound toward 25th SW. (Victim 1) stated as they neared SW Thistle they saw a small black car racing toward them from the south. The car stopped next to them and the same white female (O’Brien) that had just fought with (Victim 2) exited the vehicle. (Victim 1) could see that she was now armed with a taser-type device. She began to chase the girls, who fled westbound through the houses back to 26th Ave SW. (Victim 1) stated that when she looked back she did not see O’Brien any more. Moments later while they were on 26th SW, (Victim 1) said she saw the same small car O’Brien had been driving on 25th Avenue SW just moments ago turn southbound on 26th SW traveling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was heading straight at them. She stated she attempted to push (Victim 2) out of the way just before being struck. The next thing she remembered was waking up at Harborview Medical Center. (Victim 1) suffered multiple cuts, scrapes and bruises along with a laceration to the top of her head that required several stitches to close it. The doctors confirmed to the family that (Victim 1) had been struck unconscious and had suffered a concussion. While patrol officers were arriving at the scene several 911 calls came into SPD radio regarding the vehicle assault. Officers contacted a witness that saw the fight and identified the older woman as Amy L. O’Brien, his neighbor. He stated that she had a “temper” but did not know why she would do this.
Several other witnesses that were present at the time of the assault told officers about how the white female in the black vehicle was travelling at a high rate of speed just before striking the two girls. While officers were at the scene O’Brien contacted police via cell phone. She agreed to turn herself in later that day at an agreed upon time and location. O’Brien failed to show up.
We are now transcribing the second part of the narrative, which has to do with O’Brien’s surrender the next day, and police talking with Victim #1. We’ll add that as soon as we’re done.
ADDED 10:59 AM: The rest of the narrative:
On 11-29-12, at approximately 1630 hours, Amy L. O’Brien arrived at the SPD South Precinct and surrendered herself to police. She told the South Precinct desk clerk/officer she was the driver of the vehicle that was involved in a hit and run that had occurred in West Seattle at Chief Sealth High School on 11-28-12. (The officer) called 911 and requested officers to the South Precinct. She was taken into custody and transported to the SPD Homicide and Assault Unit.
When she arrived (there), she was placed in an interview room that was audio and video recorded. Before interviewing O’Brien, detectives had discovered a “follow up” story by KING 5 news on their website. It was dated 11-29-12. The story was in print and had an attached video. The article and video reported that the person responsible for running over the victims had contacted them before turning herself in and wanted to give her side of the incident. She had told KING 5 reporters that she had been “provoked” by the victims and that they surrounded her car and would not move. When she exited her vehicle she was punched in the face. KING 5 news provided video of a white vehicle with (license plate) occupied by two females arriving to meet on their site. Ater detectives read O’Brien her Miranda warnings she answered in the affirmative that she understood them. Detectives briefly questioned her on the KING 5 story and asked if that was her in the white car sitting in the passenger seat and she answered in the affirmative. She stated that she had contacted Elisa Hahn (KING 5 reporter) through a friend and was going to tell her “story” to her and they were only supposed to film her from the neck down but when she and her friend arrived to meet, Hahn was not there. When I asked if if she wanted to tell her “story” to me she requested an attorney. I ended the interview and O’Brien was booked into KCJ.
The narrative mentions that Victim #1 met with detectives last Friday, two days after the incident, and picked O’Brien out of a montage of six photos. Then:
Detectives also were able to meet with (Victim #2) on 11-30-12 who was in a neck brace and had severe “road rash” on her left side of her body. It was obvious that she was in serious pain and she stated that she was about to go back to Harborview Medical Center because of complications from her injuries. I asked her if she was able to talk to me and explain what she remembered of the incident before she went back to HMC and she stated she could.
She had a very short memory of the incident. She stated she remembered walking back to school with (Victim #1) and a number of other girls when a pit bull jumped up on her. She stated it startled her and she pushed it off. She stated the dog never yelped or ran away in pain. The dog wagged his tail and she realized that he was being friendly. As they were petting the dog a white female approximately 5’3″ in her late 20s ran up to them and began to yell at them for striking her dog. (Victim #2) stated that she tried to apologize and explain what happened. (Victim #2) stated this woman then “punched” her and she reacted by punching her back. She remembered this woman chasing them with a taser-type device, then seeing a small black car out of the corner of her eye coming at them. The next thing she remembered was waking up at HMC. She stated she had been knocked unconscious from the vehicle assault. I asked her the extent of her injuries and she explained that she had the “road rash” on the left side of her body, numerous cuts and scrapes on her knees, and that her left ear had been partially torn off but the doctors were able to “sew” it back on. I asked her if she was able to identify this W/F that had punched her and she stated she could. I asked if she wished to do it now or later and she stated now.
Victim #2 too identified the photo of Amy O’Brien.
That’s where the charging documents end. One other detail – it appears from another document the decision to grant O’Brien’s request for “personal recognizance” release was made by King County Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle.