The 63-year-old man who suffered critical injuries in an unprovoked attack at the Bellevue Transit Center on July 10 has died, Bellevue police said on Tuesday.

King County prosecutors charged Gabriel Vargas-Garcia, 25, with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault on July 13. Vargas-Garcia had been released from jail 32 hours before the attack upon completion of a 15-month sentence, prosecutors said.

Detectives are now investigating the case as a homicide.

Vargas-Garcia is accused of beating the man, who was an amputee and used a wheelchair, until he was unconscious, according to charging papers. Police say Vargas-Garcia repeatedly smashed the victim’s head onto the concrete, and video shows the beating went on for 90 seconds before the assailant boarded a bus.

A woman who called police described the assailant, documents said.

The victim did not have a pulse when Bellevue police arrived, but medics were able to revive him, charging papers said.

Another woman, who had heard radio traffic about the assault while on a ride-along with police, spotted the suspect — who had been described as not wearing shoes — and called police, leading to an arrest two hours after the attack, according to charging papers.

When officers arrested Vargas-Garcia, he had blood on his clothes and injuries on his hands and one foot consistent with punching and kicking someone, according to court documents.


The initial charges included two aggravating factors: The assault occurred shortly after Vargas-Garcia’s release from jail, and the victim was particularly vulnerable and incapable of resistance.

Prosecutors are allowed under state law to seek an exceptional sentence, above the standard sentencing range, if aggravating factors are proven to a jury.

“The brutality of this attack is difficult to describe in words and appears to have been unprovoked,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Brynn Jacobson wrote in charging documents. The victim had not been named as of Tuesday evening.

Vargas-Garcia was diagnosed with schizophrenia and methamphetamine use disorder while in jail on charges of second-degree rape stemming from a 2019 assault.

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