FOLLOWUP: Charges filed in attack, attempted robbery at Juneau Street Market; victim’s family starts crowdfunding campaign

(WSB photo from Tuesday)

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.

35 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Charges filed in attack, attempted robbery at Juneau Street Market; victim's family starts crowdfunding campaign"

  • DD December 14, 2018 (4:22 pm)

    The level of sustained violence described here Is horrifying. This  individual,  whether determined to be sane or not, should never be released on the streets again. Really sounds like attempted murder and I am so glad the victim survived and fought for her life….and that there were witnesses who acted quickly.  Relieved at the bail amount….hopefully that keeps him confined until prosecution can occur. My heart goes out to the victim and her family and I’ll add my thanks to others who have commented on the community members who came to her aid and saved her life. 

    • Mark Schletty December 14, 2018 (5:35 pm)

      DD— I agree with you that this level of violence, with both a metal object and a knife, directed at the head and upper torso, constitute an attempted 2nd degree murder. The type and location of the injuries would lead a reasonable person to believe that death was likely, and that is sufficient for the “intent” part of 2nd degree murder. I hope the prosecutor revisits the charges and includes attempted 2nd degree murder. This man should be kept out of society for as long as legally possibl.

      • Edsecutive December 18, 2018 (2:12 am)

        Totally agree. 

    • Chris D December 14, 2018 (10:34 pm)

      I agree, regardless of mental capacities, this person needs to be put away, this is not something that can be rehabilitated. Reading the transcript was horrifying and I’m sad that the victim had to endure this.

  • Onion December 14, 2018 (4:38 pm)

    Pathetic SOB. Mentally deranged, or he would have expended a lot less energy on his poor victim, and more on getting his cash, or whatever else he was after.  This story brought tears to my eyes.

  • Michelle December 14, 2018 (4:45 pm)

    This is absolutely horrifying! Also, the guy looks familiar to me but I can’t quite place him. I feel like I may have seen him walking in the area in the weeks prior but I’m not sure. Those baggy pants and his general appearance look familiar though.

    • Just a dude December 15, 2018 (8:13 am)

      You’re correct Michelle, he has been around a lot lately.Always wearing the same coat and pants, he did a lot of walking and chain-smoking of cigarettes while muttering to himself, never seeming aware of those around him or caring about how, when and where he crossed a street. 

  • bolo December 14, 2018 (5:15 pm)

    The detailed police report was almost TMI, but thank heavens for the appearance of the witnesses and bystanders that caused the attacker to back off. And good on the victim for her life-preserving evasive protective moves. Hoping she can control/minimize the resulting PTSD; attack from behind is particularly nasty.

  • Craig December 14, 2018 (5:23 pm)

    All, please share the Go Fund Me page, or the WSB story on your Facebook page. I don’t know this woman, but I do know she took serious abuse and that she’s out of work during the holidays, so at the least I (we) can share her terrible story and provide for her financially during this hard time for a community member. This isn’t fair for her, but maybe we can make it less painful financially. 

  • ACG December 14, 2018 (5:48 pm)

    Can one of our legal expert commenters explain the difference between “Assault in the 1st Degree” and “Attempted Murder”?  Does “Attemped Murder” even exist as a charge in our state?

  • December 14, 2018 (5:49 pm)

    You can find the actual footage of the attack on . It’s a miracle she’s alive. 

  • wscommuter December 14, 2018 (9:25 pm)

    Any crime can be “attempted”.  Assault in the First Degree is actually a very serious charge on par with attempted murder 2d degree in terms of incarceration.  A quick glance at the sentencing grid reveals that the standard range for attempted murder 2 is 92-165 months and for Assault 1 at 123-164 months. (the trial judge has discretion to sentence anywhere within that range).  So Assault 1 actually has a much higher “bottom end” of the range.  Also, either crime could be charged with a deadly weapon enhancement (the knife) which would add 3 years additionally to the standard range.  Knowing nothing more about the case but the brutality being extreme, a sentence at the top of the range is very possible.  Likely this person is facing about 16 years in prison, give or take.  Even with “good time”, he would serve at least 13 years at a minimum.  

    • ACG December 14, 2018 (9:44 pm)

      Thanks, WSC- I was hoping you’d be able to offer insight. I always appreciate your comments on the blog when it comes to these legal issues- they are really helpful. Have a great night- be safe!

    • carole allen December 15, 2018 (2:20 pm)

      And there is no good time credit for the weapon enhancement. The time on that is served in full before the regular sentence starts.

      • wscommuter December 15, 2018 (10:17 pm)

        Correct – my math is based on earning 1/6 off (both Assault 1 and Attempted Murder 2 fall as “serious, violent” offenses) on the base standard range, after which he would serve the full three years with no good time.  

  • Neighbor December 14, 2018 (9:43 pm)

    This is so, so  horrific. I stopped to leave a card for this woman at the market and the owner seems pretty shaken up too but is so grateful as many neighbors are stopping by to show their support. Even though I didn’t know her I think she should know that so many of us are thinking about her.  She could have been killed had it not for others stepping in. Are there plans to start a GoFundMe for the Budweiser delivery man too?  Maybe a local organization can plan a thank you celebration for him? 

  • John Q Lincoln December 14, 2018 (9:46 pm)

    Horrible!  What a POS!   So sorry for that lady.  

  • Steve December 14, 2018 (9:51 pm)

    Sooooooo…  115 times with a weapon against a 71 old not to mention dragging her away from the exit preventing escape is just assault and not attempted murder?  Criminals always plea down. He will get a lesser charge than assault 1 and robbery. No justice. Slap on the wrists. 

  • Bradley December 14, 2018 (11:24 pm)

    Why on EARTH is he not charged with attempted murder? He had a knife and he bludgeoned her to the point where any of those blows could’ve been fatal.

    • flimflam December 15, 2018 (9:26 am)

      i agree. the police report was sickening. this “man” belonged/belongs in permanent lockdown.

  • Rick December 15, 2018 (2:15 am)

    I’m pissed.

  • Former December 15, 2018 (5:44 am)

    Someone said in comments he looked a bit familiar.   Since he is in custody, he does look like a former Safeway employee that was a courtesy clerk…..possible as he had black shoes and the red & black colors on.   So glad he is off the streets

    • sgs December 15, 2018 (9:19 am)

      Former – NO WAY.  It’s outrageous that you would even put that out there.  If you have no reason to identify someone, don’t say anything.

  • Mj December 15, 2018 (7:20 am)

    This was a brutal attack!  The perpetrator deserves zero mercy and belongs behind bars the rest of his life.

    • zero mercy December 15, 2018 (10:40 pm)

      “Zero mercy” is a rallying cry for nihilists and idiots.  

  • Swede. December 15, 2018 (8:50 am)

    Not a random thing. Me and my girlfriend saw him in the alley behind the store several times the week before leading up to the attack/murder attempt. (We live very close)

  • flimflam December 15, 2018 (9:16 am)

    as others have stated – this “man” should not be on the streets with innocent people around ever terrible for the victim and her family, friends. this should have never happened.

  • Realist December 15, 2018 (10:25 am)

    I’ve been scratching my head as to why all of you are “outraged”. Crimes like this continue because YOU DON’T CARE!!! Hiding in your locked houses behind a computer doesn’t fix anything. Sorry to deliver this bit of reality. If you wanted something done you’d be going to city council meetings you’d be confronting your elected officials you’d be gathering signatures for referendum’s. But you’re not: give excuses here…………… Maybe you have proof that doing NOTHING get’s results??? 

    • Nick December 17, 2018 (4:37 am)

      Quite a lot of assumptions you made there.  News flash: People are allowed to comment on a story they see online and give their opinions, just as you did. So get a grip. I think you need your own dose of reality, because I highly doubt anyone on here could have actually prevented this unfortunate event from happening.

    • Chris McCorkle December 22, 2018 (3:11 pm)

      You can’t really be upset with people everybody’s got their own problems and their own families to take care of and yeah it is kind of an outrage and I f****** damn shame the real problem is is it our society does not work the way it probably could to be better but it’s not every individuals fault

  • Rick December 15, 2018 (1:24 pm)

    Another product of our society that we have to deal with.

  • carole allen December 15, 2018 (2:24 pm)

    As WSC pointed out the sentencing range is higher for Assault 1 than for Attempted Murder 2.  Looks like prosecutors charged with the higher range in mind.

  • Tim December 15, 2018 (8:52 pm)

    I’ve been living in West Seattle for two years, this SOB was in my apartment complex. He was uncommunicative, unfriendly, and always seem to create noise day in and day out for years. I don’t think he ever worked. I am very sorry this had happened to this woman. I’ve even signed a get well card in the market she worked. I’ll be donating to the gofundme. I hope that SOB rots. 

  • Melinda December 16, 2018 (11:56 pm)

    I live the same block at the store and she has always shown such warm sweet kindness to us all who come in for snacks or paper towels and always gives every dog double treats. And it wasn’t until seeing his face in the photos that I realized that I’ve walked past him SEVERAL times in the neighborhood, mainly on California Ave. Not a good feeling know now what he had brewing inside him. 

  • Darlean Tipke-Kane December 17, 2018 (6:19 am)


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