10:44 AM: Bail is set at $10,000 for the man arrested for allegedly stabbing a state worker at an encampment site in the 9500 block of Myers Way (map) last Friday – and it turns out, there’s a federal warrant out for his arrest. The victim, who was not seriously injured and declined treatment at the scene, was posting 72-hour eviction notices at the site along with a colleague, according to the Seattle Police report we obtained today:
… They noticed that (the suspect) was sleeping under a tarp or blanket. (Worker) said, “Good morning, it’s time to leave the property.” (Suspect) stood up and told (worker) that he was trespassing. (Worker) told Hadley that he was actually the one trespassing. (Suspect) pulled a knife and lunged at (worker), cutting him in the chest. (Worker) quickly grabbed a branch to try to keep distance between himself and (suspect …. who) grabbed a bigger branch. (The workers) retreated to their work truck and called the police. (The suspect) walked out of the state-owned property he was camping on at the same time (an officer) arrived at the scene.
However, the suspect didn’t surrender quietly, according to the report; he ignored the officer’s orders and walked across Myers Way, then running southbound, with the officer driving behind him for about two blocks until the suspect stopped again, at which time the officer took away his knife, and took him into custody. The subsequent check of the suspect’s record turned up the federal warrant for what’s described only as a weapons offense, with “full extradition.” We’re following up on that as well as on the status of the “encampment” site and the injured worker, and will add any additional information we get.
12:33 PM UPDATE: Just talked with Bart Treece of WSDOT, who says the worker who was attacked is fine – they did talk him into getting checked out at a hospital, eventually; the wound was described as a “nick.” These are workers from the WSDOT’s maintenance division, who do everything from roadway repair to plowing snow to something like this. And while they have been threatened before, Treece says this is the first known actual attack on a WSDOT worker while posting or clearing this type of site.
The “Myers Way woods” area has to be posted relatively often, Treece told WSB in a phone conversation. Typically, that’s followed by a cleanup, usually done with assistance of work crews from the Department of Corrections; in this case, that’ll likely be done sometime later this week. It’s WSDOT property because it’s right-of-way for Highway 509, immediately east, and it’s a safety issue, he emphasized, in making sure people don’t camp there. In the general West Seattle vicinity, besides Myers Way, Treece says, the 1st Avenue South Bridge area requires postings and cleanup relatively often. That costs hundreds of thousands a year at sites like this around the state, according to Treece, money WSDOT would rather spend on the roads.