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.”