Assault, harassment charges filed against 3 in downtown kicking case, 1 from West Seattle

July 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

Four months after regional media first reported allegations that three people – including two off-duty Seattle firefighters – attacked a homeless man downtown, the City Attorney’s Office has filed criminal charges, and court documents confirm that one defendant is a West Seattle resident.

The incident happened in March at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Occidental Park downtown.

Witnesses told police that a homeless man sleeping at the memorial was kicked and screamed at by Mia Jarvinen and off-duty firefighters Robert Howell and Scott Bullene, as the three walked through the park after a Seattle Sounders FC match. Charging papers say Bullene, 45, lives in Genesee; Howell, 46, in Burien; and Jarvinen, 37, on Capitol Hill. Each is charged with one count of fourth-degree assault and one count of malicious harassment; the City Attorney’s Office says the latter charge is because “we have reason to believe the harassment was because of the victim’s status of being homeless.” Our partners at The Seattle Times report that Bullene and Howell were on disability leave at the time of the incident and have been on paid administrative leave during the investigation; it was reported in March that Bullene was hospitalized after being stabbed by the victim. The City Attorney’s Office announcement says the three are expected in court “in about three weeks” and that “if convicted, each faces a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 364 days in jail.”


  1. I’m glad charges have been filed against these three. There is no excuse for this type of behavior – especially for those in positions of safety and service to the public. It is inexcusable to me that this incident even occurred in the first place, completely unprovoked. I find it interesting that these two firefighters were on ‘disability leave’ during this time. Their disabilities didn’t inhibit them from enjoying a football game, getting intoxicated, and then attacking an innocent person for no reason. Perhaps the state should look into that as well? I’m sure Labor and Industries or whatever governmental agency would love to get their money back if they were paying these people to be off work and recovering from whatever injuries they claim, when clearly they seemed perfectly able-bodied to act like complete imbeciles and harm others. I hope they’re all convicted.

    Comment by Kravitz — 3:24 pm July 9, 2014 #

  2. Would be interesting to know what they were/are on paid disability leave for. From the looks of things they were in pretty good physical shape from their big actions of beating on a homeless person, going to a Sounders game and walking around downtown ok ? still collecting a big paychecks… not the mindset I find good for positions they hold with our fire department.

    Comment by wetone — 3:28 pm July 9, 2014 #

  3. Their unions will protect them, and their kind. You know it and I do as well.

    Comment by Rick — 3:45 pm July 9, 2014 #

  4. I read in the Times that one of these jerks is now on full disability due to his injuries during their cowardly attack. this sleazey guy is too much.

    Comment by flimflam — 4:53 pm July 9, 2014 #

  5. Unions don’t have much pull with the judicial system.

    Comment by CandrewB — 5:15 pm July 9, 2014 #

  6. Anti-union guy: Keep poisoning the well. It’s large but if you keep at it people come to see unions as bad, employers good. Goodness know, what have unions every done for us besides the 5 day work week, the 8 hr day, vacations and benefits. Better we should be free of unions and go back to the good ol’ days of hiring children to work the tiny tunnels in the coal mines.

    Comment by WS15yrs — 6:24 pm July 9, 2014 #

  7. As far as I know a union would have nothing to do with the off-duty activities of a member.

    It’s sad that the two firefighters whom we trust to protect our city would be so vicious.

    Comment by JK — 7:07 am July 10, 2014 #

  8. Didn’t mean to infer protect legally rather than to protect the paycheck. Not anti union, just certain practices.

    Comment by Rick — 8:27 am July 10, 2014 #

  9. Unions need to all go away. They have outlived their original purpose and no longer resemble what they once were and stood for. That said. I hope justice is served.

    Comment by Wilton Weed — 12:42 pm July 10, 2014 #

  10. If unions go away, my job goes to the lowest bidder in some other state/country. No thanks.

    Comment by Brian — 1:43 pm July 10, 2014 #

  11. These people work for the city and therefore represent the city in nearly all their actions. And this stupid cowardly action should not be condoned by any department of any city and if proved they should be removed from the pay roll and any benefits that they receive should be forfeited, Concern citizen

    Comment by Bob Price — 5:29 pm July 10, 2014 #

  12. So, let me get this straight.
    It was a fight in a park and we are spending all of this money and time prosecuting while the victims want nothing to do with it?
    Why not find and prosecute the unsolved murders and missing person cases in the city?

    Comment by Jennifer — 9:50 am July 13, 2014 #

  13. Prosecutors are not calling it “a fight in a park.” The charges say someone was attacked and struck out in self-defense.

    Comment by WSB — 11:10 am July 13, 2014 #

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