Kent Police arrest Maple Valley man for reported assault, hate crime

Man allegedly called an African American woman racist names on Metro bus before punching, stabbing her

Kent Police arrested a 22-year-old Maple Valley man for investigation of second-degree assault and a hate crime after he reportedly called an African American woman racist names on a King County Metro bus and then punched and stabbed her.

Officers responded at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, March 7 to a stabbing near the 800 block of Central Avenue South, according to a March 8 Kent Police news release. A woman had called 911 to report she had been assaulted near a Metro bus and suspects were fleeing the scene on foot.

Officers arrived within 2 minutes and located a 43-year-old African American woman who lives in Kent, and immediately assessed if she needed medical aid, according to police. The woman was wearing a bulky jacket which fortunately protected her from serious injury from a man trying to stab her with a folding knife.

While officers on scene assisted the woman, the remaining officers searched the area for the suspects. About 10 minutes into the search, a resident on South 259th Street called to advise that a man was hiding under her vehicle. Officers immediately arrived and detained the man, who was later reportedly positively identified as the man who stabbed the woman.

The woman told police that two men approached her while she was on a Metro bus, called her racist names, and stated they did not like ‘Black people,” according to police.

Feeling unsafe, the woman approached the driver and asked him to call 911. One man followed her to the front, grabbed her and attempted to force her out of the bus, according to police. He successfully pulled her outside, allegedly punched her several times, then took out a pocketknife and repeatedly stabbed at her. The jacket she wore had multiple cuts in the fabric. The second man did not assault the woman. Both men ran off when 911 was called.

“I am infuriated by the blatant hateful racially motivated attack on the victim,” Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla said. “Our officers took this call very seriously, conducting a thorough investigation and successfully put the (alleged) violent offender in jail. Our detectives will now continue the investigation and we will prosecute the offender to the fullest extent of the law.

“I want to say this in the strongest way that I can, hate crimes will not be tolerated. If you commit a hate crime in our city, KPD will be relentless in our pursuit of bringing you to justice.”

The second man, a 22-year-old Auburn resident, was arrested for investigation of obstructing when he reportedly approached officers during his friend’s arrest and attempted to interfere. He was booked into the City of Kent jail.

Multiple witnesses gave statements regarding the assault and the Metro bus driver provided video evidence.

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