King County prosecutors charged a man with assault after they say he tried to attack two strangers with the head of a pitchfork outside a Ballard post office earlier this month.
Daniel Aaron Kuchta, 28, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault in King County Superior Court on Thursday, with the aggravating factor of having allegedly committed the crimes shortly after being released from jail, according to charges.
Kuchta remains in King County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail, according to jail records.
Prosecutors say that Kuchta tried to stab a woman multiple times on Aug. 5, then pointed the pitchfork head at someone who tried to stop him. Police believe Kuchta was high on methamphetamines at the time.
“What should have been just a mundane trip to the post office turned into a terrifying nightmare for [the woman],” Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christian Brown wrote in charges.
The woman was leaving the post office as a witness said they spotted Kuchta ride into the area on a bicycle. Prosecutors say Kuchta ran up to the woman as she was getting into her car around 2:30 p.m. and closed the driver’s door against her leg, pinning her.
According to prosecutors, Kuchta tried to stab the woman’s leg and then her neck and chest. The woman was able to defend herself by blocking the attack with her purse and cried out for help.
A witness intervened, and Kuchta ran away. Several nearby construction workers chased him, and one said that Kuchta pointed the pitchfork at him, according to charges. The workers got him onto the ground, where they held him until police arrived.
Police said Kuchta told them he had used meth before the alleged assault, according to charges.
Kuchta had been released from Pierce County Jail on Aug. 1 after he received a 364-day suspended sentence for a misdemeanor assault charge, according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
He will next appear in court Aug. 22.