A Mercer Island man was charged this week with five counts of second-degree assault, accused of punching and stabbing medical workers at a Seattle hospital with a butterfly needle used to draw blood, according to King County prosecutors.
When Seattle police officers confronted Bryan Maruhashi, 29, near the intersection of 15th Avenue and East Columbia Street on Monday morning, he attempted to stab one officer in the face with the needle before he was arrested, the charges say. He remains jailed in lieu of $750,000 bail, jail records show.
“The defendant’s actions in this case are terrifying,” Deputy Prosecutor Aubony Burns wrote in charging papers. “A doctor and several nurses were stabbed and slashed with the same needle. Some were punched and stabbed, others just punched.”
One stabbing victim was thrown to the ground during the attack, injuring her head and back, and another suffered a puncture wound and broken finger, Burns wrote.
According to the charges:
Maruhashi, accompanied by his father, went to Kaiser Permanente’s Capitol Hill campus on Monday to be treated for an unknown virus he contracted after recently traveling to Hong Kong, Japan and Bali. A 24-year-old man was attempting to draw Maruhashi’s blood when Maruhashi yanked the needle out of his left arm. The hospital worker tried to restrain him with the help of other staff, but Maruhashi got loose, jumped on top of the man, stabbed him three times and repeatedly punched him in the head, the charges say.
Wearing a hospital gown, Maruhashi assaulted five more people — three women, his male doctor and his father — as he fled the hospital, running south on 15th Avenue, according to the charges.
Two Seattle police officers spotted Maruhashi near East Columbia Street, about eight blocks south of the hospital, and ran after him, yelling for him to stop. Eventually, Maruhashi slowed down but then lunged at one officer, who jumped out of reach to avoid being stabbed with the needle. The officer drew his gun and pointed it at Maruhashi, but re-holstered it after Maruhashi calmed down a little. As Maruhashi walked away, the second officer followed him with his Taser drawn while the first officer yelled for Maruhashi to drop the needle. He eventually complied and was arrested.
Two more officers arrived and helped get Maruhashi into handcuffs. He attempted to lunge away from them before officers wrestled him into the back seat of a patrol car, the charges say.