The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed assault and attempted robbery charges this afternoon against 51-year-old Farrall M. Ditschinger, arrested after Tuesday’s attack on a 71-year-old Juneau Street Market employee. Here’s the narrative from the probable-cause document, written by SPD detectives:
On 12-11-18 at approximately 1215 hours Farrall M Ditschinger 5/12/67 walks into the Juneau Street Market … from the South. Upon entering the business Ditschinger walks up the beer aisle. Ditschinger then walks along the back wall where he looks into the office area and glances down the soda aisle , ensuring that no other employees are present. Ditschinger then walks down the middle aisle and approaches the lone, 71 year old female employee …
As Ditschinger approaches (her), he removes a pair of silver metal handcuffs from his left coat pocket with his left hand and transfers the handcuffs to his right hand. Ditschinger is wearing a white latex glove on his right hand. At approximately 1216 hours, (victim) has her back to Ditschinger as she stocks shelves, Ditschinger begins a vicious assault on (her) by striking her in the back of her head with the handcuffs, held in his right hand, approximately 6 times.
(victim) attempts to get away from Ditschinger by moving over to the cash register area, with Ditschinger following right behind her. (victim) attempts to cover her head with her right hand as Ditschinger is pulling on her left arm with his left hand. Ditschinger strikes (victim) with the handcuffs, held in his right hand, approximately 22 times in the area of her head and right hand/arm area. Ditschinger then pulls (victim) out from behind the counter area and pulls her down to the ground in front of the soda coolers.
Ditschinger continues to swing the handcuffs at (victim) approximately 37 more times. At 1217 hours (victim) manages to stand up and Ditschinger walks to the back of the store. As (victim) walks back to the area of the cash register, Ditschinger walks down the middle aisle, removing a black handled knife from his right coat pocket. The knife is in his right hand and the handcuffs are held in his left hand. As Ditschinger reengages (victim), (she) throws something at Ditschinger to defend herself. Ditschinger swings the knife at the left arm area of (victim). Ditschinger backs away from (victim), into the middle aisle, the knife being held in his left hand the the handcuffs in his right hand. (victim) picks up some type of tray and attempts to use it as a barrier between her and Ditschinger. When (victim) gets to the area of the middle aisle she attempt to flee the business through the open front business door. As (victim) is at the threshold of the door Ditschinger grabs ahold of (victim), by the shoulders, and pulls her back inside the business where he throws her onto the floor.
As (victim) is trying to escape a Bud Light Delivery truck is pulling to the curb in front of the business. A female witness … is walking northbound on the sidewalk in front of the store, just after Ditschinger has thrown (victim) to the floor and begun to strike her with the handcuffs again. (The witness) immediately calls 911 on her cellphone and remains outside the store.
After being thrown to the floor Ditschinger swings the handcuffs at (victim) approximately 51 more times. At some point during this time Ditschinger realizes that the knife blade has broken and he puts the knife handle back into his jacket pocket. Also during this time another witness … almost walks into the store as Ditschinger is beating (victim). (Driver) retreats outside the store and calls 911. At 1219 hours Ditschinger steps over (victim), who is still lying on the floor, and closes the door to the business. Ditschinger re-approaches (victim) and swings the handcuffs at her a few more times at which point he knocks down a metal display case onto (victim). With the display case now acting as a barrier, (victim) attempts to crawl to the front doors. Ditschinger attempts to stop (victim)’s effort by further assault but (she) is able to open the door slightly. At this same time, the Bud Light delivery worker … is approaching the door and observes (victim) in distress.
At 1221 hours (the driver) pulls the door completely open which prevents any further assault on (victim) by Ditschinger. Ditschinger then calmly walks behind the counter and begins to press the keys on the cash register with his latex covered right hand in an attempt to open the cash till. The till does not open and as (driver) is pulling (victim) to safety, to a business to the south, to open the cash register a second times by the same means used the first time. Ditschinger is unable to open the cash till. Just prior to Ditschinger attempting to exit the front door (driver and bystander) use their body weight to keep the door closed, as Ditschinger is pushing against it. Ditschinger then flees out the back door into the alley when he realizes he cannot exit out the way that he entered the store.
Responding SPD Officers arrived and observed Ditschinger running from the scene and after a short foot pursuit, Ditschinger was taken into custody. At the time Ditschinger was taken into custody, he still had the handcuffs used to assault (victim) in his hands. Search incident to arrest, the broken knife handle was also recovered from Ditschinger’s person. The investigating officers performed witness show up with (witnesses). All 3 positively identified Ditschinger as the male they observed assaulting (victim), Officers processed the crime scene inside the Juneau Street Market and recovered a broken knife blade inside the store near the front door. This was collected as evidence, as was the surveillance video that captured the incident in its entirety. Some of Ditschinger’s clothing was recovered at the time of his arrest. The remainder of the clothing was collected at the Robbery Office and when Ditschinger was booked into KCJ. At no time while Ditschinger was in police custody did he say anything or make any sound. Ditschinger was originally listed as John Doe but his identify was revealed at KCJ via fingerprints.
Other SPD Officers contacted (victim) in the foyer of a business to the south of the Juneau Street Market. (victim) was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from a wound on the back of her head. SFD responded to the scene, rendered aid and (victim) was transported to HMC via a Medic unit for further treatment. SPD Robbery Detectives responded to the hospital to investigate.
Sgt Aratani and I contacted (victim) at HMC … where she was receiving medical treatment. After (victim) was stabilized I was able to obtain an audiotaped statement from her. In her statement, (she) said that an unknown WM suspect, whom she described as W/M, late 30’s, 5’5″, 150, blonde “bowl” type hair style, no facial hair, wearing a black jacket, khaki pants and black dress shoes. (She) recalled being beaten with handcuffs and also recalled the suspect having a knife with a serrated edge, like a steak knife. (victim) stated that she was aware of who the suspect was as she had worked with his mother years ago at Sears, but that she did not know the suspect personally. (victim) verified that the attack was completely unprovoked and that at no time did the suspect say anything to her. Some initial photos were taken of (victim)’s injuries as some initial treatment had been performed and she had other exams still pending.
On 12/12/18 I went to HMC and contacted (the victim, who) was diagnosed with a left orbital fracture, a left arm fracture, lacerations to the back of her head that required stitches or staples to close and multiple abrasions, contusions and lacerations to her arms, hand and back area. …
Probable cause has been established that Ditschinger did commit Assault in the 1 Degree of (victim), a 71 year old female, by striking/swinging at her with handcuffs over 115 times. (Victim) did sustain severe injury requiring medical attention. Ditschinger also attempted to remove money from the cash register of the Juneau Street Market after using force to disable the lone employee of the store.
According to the charging documents, Ditschinger “has no known criminal convictions.” We noted in an earlier report that we found one assault case in Municipal Court records, from 32 years ago, but no details. He is being held in lieu of $750,000 bail, the amount requested by prosecutors.
HELPING THE VICTIM: Her family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the resulting financial challenges, describing her as “the most hard working, giving individual I’ve ever known.” Here’s the link where you can contribute.