Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office:
A 15-year-old boy was charged today with assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree for attacking a METRO bus driver early last Saturday morning in Tukwila. The victim was beaten unconscious during the assault.
“Any assault on a bus driver is a very serious matter,” said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. “In addition to the harm to the bus driver, the passengers, other motorists and pedestrians are all put at risk when a driver is attacked,” Satterberg added.
Based on the victim’s injuries, assault second degree is the maximum charge. Because state law sets strict parameters for allowing adult prosecution, the 15-year-old defendant is not eligible for adult prosecution because of his age, lack of criminal history and other factors. However, King County Prosecutors will request a sentence above the standard range on the assault charge based on the seriousness of the offense and the risk to community safety.
Under state law, the standard sentence range in Juvenile Court for assault in the second degree is 15 to 36 weeks in detention, but prosecutors will recommend a sentence of over a year of incarceration if the defendant is convicted.
Two other boys, ages 16 and 17, were charged with malicious mischief in the first degree for breaking windows on the back door of the bus and damaging the door frame. Their cases are also required to remain in Juvenile Court where they each face a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in detention.
Two of the defendants remain in custody. The 16-year-old charged with malicious mischief is currently out of custody on electronic home monitoring. All three are scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 28 at 9 a.m. in Juvenile Court.
The victim’s daughter first talked about the incident in the WSB Forums, revealing her mom is an Alki resident; that post sparked our followup over the weekend. The family called on Metro to put more measures in place to protect drivers; Metro’s deputy general manager told us on Monday they will be looking at that.