The man accused of attacking an attorney and a Metro bus driver outside the King County Courthouse has been charged with assault in the third and fourth degree.
The suspect, identified as Frank Hypolite, was not known to his victims. Hypolite's bail was set at $75,000 on Tuesday.
Deputies say the attorney was walking into the courthouse at 9:18 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27 when a man punched him several times, knocking him to the ground.
A Metro bus driver attempted to help the victim, but not before the suspect threw additional punches at the attorney.
A bystander to the Nov. 27 attack called a Court Marshal to the scene. The Marshal used his taser on the suspect, bringing him down.
The suspect was taken into custody and booked into King County Jail for an outstanding warrant and on an investigation of a felony assault.
According to court documents, Hypolite has two assault convictions from early October this year.
Due to this attack and several others, a judge decided to close the 3rd Avenue entrance to the King County Courthouse. That entrance will remain closed until early January.
King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jim Rogers said he’s received constant reports of assaults near the courthouse.
“I think we are in the grips of an incredible opioid and drug epidemic. That's the problem we see on 3rd Avenue. People call it a homeless issue. It is not a homeless issue. Many people are homeless through no fault of their own. We are talking about people who are seriously addicted to drugs who are assaulting other people while they are in a drug psychosis,” said Judge Rogers. “I want people to be able to walk on 3rd Avenue and not be assaulted as they get to the courthouse.”
“I hope someone doesn't have to die on 3rd Ave. to get peoples' attention,” King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer said Monday.
Seattle police said it assigned foot patrols to 3rd Ave. last year and bicycle officers also patrol the area. Those officers remain responsible for providing emergency services in other neighborhoods where safety is a concern, SPD said.