If you are facing criminal charges in Seattle, you are probably nervous about what you are up against and appearing in court. But there is another reason you should be nervous if you have to go to King County Courthouse.
On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, a homeless man got off a Metro bus on Third Avenue and randomly attacked a defense attorney who was walking on the sidewalk. The bus driver tried to intervene, but the homeless man began attacking him as well.
Frank Hypolite was eventually Tasered by a courthouse marshal and arrested for felony assault of the bus driver and misdemeanor assault of the attorney. A judge set his bail at $10,000.
Attack Leads to Calls for Better Protection
A Superior Court Judge said of the attack, “We have reached a crisis point with conditions on Third Avenue in front of the courthouse.” Judge Sean O'Donnell wants the city of Seattle to do more to protect the streets around the courthouse. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the city is not ignoring the safety issues around the courthouse.
Court records show that Hypolite has been arrested five times since October 4, 2019, on that same block of the courthouse, including two other assaults at the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) shelter. The DESC shelter is across the street from the courthouse.
James Sido of the Downtown Seattle Association said that Third Avenue needs a concerted effort by the police and fire departments to better protect people. It is estimated that 50,000 people ride buses daily in the Third Avenue transit corridor. The bus stop where the attack occurred is at the south end of the corridor.
Judge O'Connell wondered, “Does someone have to die for there to be a response?” King County Superior Presiding Judge Jim Rogers said, “It's so outrageous and there is simply no security down here.”
The Third Avenue DESC shelter is one of three locations where fire department personnel will not enter without a police escort because of previous attacks. Seattle Fire Department logs show that 84 calls of service were made to the shelter in November, but the number of police calls was not available yet.
But Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw thinks things are improving at the DESC shelter were improving. “DESC told me just a few weeks ago that they only had two necessary 911 call responses there, and you compare that to some of our other shelters, it's night and day.”
Seattle Defense Attorney
You should never try to face criminal charges on your own. You need a defense attorney who will work tirelessly to get the charges against you either dropped or lessened. If you need expert legal defense, call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777 or fill out a contact form to get started on a free consultation.