Two off-duty Seattle firefighters investigated for attack on homeless man

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 16 at 5:21 PM

Three people - including two off-duty Seattle firefighters - are being investigated for an assault on a homeless man Saturday night.

Police say a woman and the two firefighters were walking through Pioneer Square when they came upon the victim at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial near 1st Ave. S. and S. Main St.

“This guy and his girlfriend were sitting on the monument,” said Alvin Taliaferro.

“He may have perceived it as disrespect,” said Taliaferro. “He told me his brother died in the service as a firefighter and didn't appreciate the homeless sleeping on the memorial.”

Police say that's when the woman yelled at the man, then started kicking him and beating him with a stick.

“The whole thing turned into a small riot,” said Taliaferro.

Seattle Police say witnesses told them the homeless man pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the firefighters. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries.

The two suspects were booked into King County Jail for assault. The third suspect, due to his injuries, was not booked into jail. However, will face assault charges.

Officers believe the suspects were intoxicated.

The homeless man refused medical help.

The firefighter was listed in stable condition Saturday night. He has been a firefighter since 1999 and hasn't worked a shift since March 13, according to Seattle Fire Public Information Officer Sue Stangl.

The other firefighter was hired in 1997 and hasn't worked a shift since Jan. 9.

Both of them are on disability, Stangl said.

Stangl said there will be a decision on the status of the off-duty firefighters on Monday.

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