A man was admitted to Harborview in critical condition after he tried to stop an attack on a homeless man in Burien. Thanks to two cooks nearby, the assaults were stopped and two suspects were arrested.
A man who tried to stop an attack on a homeless man in Burien Wednesday night became the victim himself when the two attackers — armed with a machete and a chained belt — turned on him instead, police said.
The 39-year-old man was brutally sliced and hacked with the machete repeatedly and was in critical condition when he was admitted to Harborview Medical Center, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ryan Abbott.
“I think the first deputy on the scene may have saved his life,” said Abbott. “He had to use three tourniquets, two on one arm and one on the other, to stop the bleeding.”
On Thursday morning, the 39-year-old victim’s condition was upgraded to satisfactory, according to a spokeswoman for Harborview.
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According to Abbott, the two suspects, men aged 25 and 30, had just come out of a local burger joint about 7 p.m. when they saw the homeless man.
That man, who was described by Abbott as a “local guy who never causes any problems,” was at his usual corner on First Avenue South and Southwest 148th Street when the two intoxicated suspects began to harass him, police said.
They had tipped over his bicycle and shopping cart when the victim intervened.
Abbott said the homeless man tried to help the person who’d come to his aid, only to be thrown by the suspects into traffic, where he almost got hit by a car.
The attack was finally stopped when some cooks at a nearby eatery saw what was happening, chased the suspects and managed to pin down the man who’d wielded the machete, Abbott said.
The homeless man suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, he said.
Both suspects were booked into King County Jail.