The homeless man had “a pair of scissors held above his head in a pre-attack stabbing position,” the probable-cause statement says of the attempted assault of King County Sheriff John Urquhart and his chief of staff.
A 36-year-old homeless man was ordered held on investigation of attempted assault Wednesday, a day after he is accused of charging King County Sheriff John Urquhart and his chief of staff with a pair of scissors.
A judge set the man’s bail at $50,000, jail records show.
The Seattle Times is not naming the man because he has not yet been criminally charged.
According to the probable-cause statement outlining the Seattle police case against the man, Urquhart and his chief adviser, Chris Barringer, were walking into the courthouse on Third Avenue just after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday when they heard a man screaming profanities at them and turned to face him.
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The man charged at them “with a pair of scissors held above his head in a pre-attack stabbing position,” the statement says. “Both victims felt they were going to be stabbed and took up defensive stances.”
The man did not attack but fled with Barringer in pursuit, according to the statement.
He was arrested a short time later at Occidental Avenue South and Railroad Way South, nearly a mile from the courthouse, the statement says.
Police say the man told officers “he was angry at the courthouse and all of its employees but didn’t try to stab the victims,” says the statement.
Court records show the man suffers from chronic mental illness and substance abuse and has been previously found incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges.
Last month, two King County judges asked for help and increased security at the courthouse because two jurors and several court employees had been assaulted. Tents are often pitched in the park next to the courthouse, and nearby blocks host most of the city’s homeless-shelter beds and many social-service agencies.
Jurors and potential jurors have reported being afraid to go to the courthouse.