SEATTLE - The Exhibition Hall in Queen Anne is well-known for ballets and other events prior to the pandemic. Now it’s become yet another spot in Seattle where police had to respond for an assault.
SPD said Abdalla Jama head-butted and hit a security guard in the chin on Christmas night. City Attorney Pete Holmes’ office did not file charges in that case.
The next day, about 6 hours after being released from jail, Jama is accused of beating Timothy L. Gravermoen so badly near the King County Courthouse, the victim was found bleeding and barely alive.
Police say Jama hit Gravermoen to the ground and as he laid defenseless, Jama allegedly beat and kicked Gravermoen so viciously that you could see the 62-year-old’s skull.
Witnesses told police there was some type of argument between the two men before the vicious attack at City Hall Park which is right next to the courthouse. People around there say they’ve seen Jama at the park before selling crack cocaine. Gravermoen was rushed to Harborview in critical condition.
"Atrocious crime," Cameron Buchanan said.
Buchanan says he’s familiar with the repeat offender problem because he says he is one.
"Yeah I’m a graffiti artist I’ve been arrested 3 or 4 times now," Buchanan said.
Buchanan says he’s on methadone for a drug habit and he believes drugs and mental illness are the reasons for much of the random violence in Seattle.
"I don’t think throwing them back on the streets is the answer," Buchanan said.
There are questions on why prosecutors didn’t file charges against Jama in the Queen Anne incident.
The city attorney’s office said it was because there wasn’t enough proof and that the security guard was the first to initiate physical contact.
But the security guard told police that Abdalla was starting fights with people on the premises and he was trying to escort him away when the defendant got violent.
Stories like this continue to change the perception of Seattle for those who live outside.
"We can’t go into Seattle anymore it’s not worth it, it’s not safe," Kyrin said.
The King County resident says she used to love going into downtown Seattle with her family.
"That was our place to go," Kyrin said.
She says everything has changed and it’s not just the pandemic.
"My concern is all of it, the abusive behavior of people down there, the homeless population, the drugs that are done on the streets down there, the graffiti all over the buildings," Kyrin said.
Abdalla is going from the City Attorney’s Office to the King County Prosecutor’s Office where he was charged with first-degree assault Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors say they quickly worked to charge Jama calling the attack extraordinary.
Before the two recent attacks, Jama was also arrested in October for trying to strangle someone else at the Salvation Army Hope Center. The City Attorney’s Office filed charges in that case and Jama spent less than a month in jail.