A 70-year-old man in Everett says he sustained a broken nose, a split lip, a concussion, bruises, and even whiplash after being assaulted by a pair of panhandlers in Everett.
It happened at the post office on Hoyt Avenue in downtown Everett Thursday.
Rick Pollock says he goes to that post office often. He has seen panhandlers there before, and says they've asked him for money on several occasions. But this time, he believes they did not like his response.
"On the way in there was a woman crouched against the wall of the post office, and as I walked by she says do you have a couple dollars,” Pollock said. “And I said you know, if you had a job you could have your own money and I'd keep money. And she got very belligerent."
In hindsight, Pollock said he wishes he would've just stayed quiet. He went inside the post office after that verbal exchange and truly hoped the woman would be gone by the time he went back outside.
But that was not the case.
"I walked inside, I paid for and bought the postage I needed, stamped the package, threw it in the bin, came back out and she started on me again," he said.
He said the woman was yelling at him as he walked towards his car. What he didn't realize is that she wasn't alone.
"I never laid eyes on the guy that hit me," said Pollock. "I had a concealed weapon on me, because I have a concealed weapons permit, and that did me absolutely no good whatsoever because I had no idea this guy was behind me. I didn't hear him coming, didn't know what he was going to do. I don't even remember seeing myself hit the ground. That's how fast it can happen to you."
A witness did see what happened and told Everett Police that a man, also believed to be a panhandler, hit Pollock in the back of the head. Pollock then lost consciousness and fell to the ground, landing face-first on the sidewalk.
Pollock credits that witness with saving his life, because when the man got out of his car, the two suspects ran away.
"I think they might very well have killed me if he didn't show up when he did," said Pollock. "I'd definitely like to meet him, because I honestly think he might have saved my life."
Everett Police are looking for the man and woman involved in this attack. The man is described as white, in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5-foot-8 with medium build. He has short brown hair and wore an orange shirt. The woman is described as white, in her mid 20s, about 5-foot-4 and 120 pounds. She has brown hair and wore a dark coat or hoodie and blue jeans.
Police say they could be charged with both assault and aggressive panhandling, which is illegal within city limits.
Related: Everett panhandling laws
As for Pollock, he's expected to make a full recovery.
He's sharing his story because he wants other customers at the post office to be aware.
"Be aware of your surroundings. You know, you hear about this happening to people. Well guess what it happened to me. And I guess I'll be a little more leery about things," he said. "I don't even remember seeing myself hit the ground. That's how fast it can happen to you.
Would he do anything differently?
"That's a tough one to answer, because I didn't think there was any problem when I walked through the door of the post office. I thought it was all over and I was going to go home and that was it. Maybe it would've been better if I'd kept my mouth shut. We've probably all been in that situation before," he said.
More than anything, he wants these people caught.
If you have any information that could help identify the suspects, contact Everett Police.