By a Gem of the Sound Reporter
On Thursday, May 4th, an employee of a Burien store was attacked.
The incident began when a man started eating food in the store before paying for it. When asked if he would be paying for the food, he replied, “No, I’m gonna [expletive] you up.”
The attacker attempts to knee the employee in the face
One of the employees then asked the man to leave, but he refused. The employee did not make contact with the man and again asked him to leave. After a few moments of not responding, the man punched the employee in the face and tried to tackle him. During the struggle, the attacker attempted to knee the employee in the face as well, before throwing the employee to the ground. The employee lost his shoe during the struggle, and while on the ground, the attacker hit the employee’s head repeatedly. Customers did not know how to respond to the incident, while another employee behind the counter yelled for help while dialing 911.
The attacker throws the employee to the ground
While the employee was on the ground, the attacker decided to leave the store property while the police were on their way. The police were able to arrest the attacker at a nearby store. He is being charged with 4th-degree assault.
The attacker repeatedly hits the employee on the head
The attacked employee was not seriously injured and continued to work his shift. “It’s just the cost of doing business in Burien,” he said.
“We see assaults on customers and employees regularly these days; the cops are rarely called. People seem to have gotten used to it. I’m just grateful it was me and not someone else.”
This business reported an explosion in violence and drug activity over the last few years. Another employee stated, “If we called the cops every time we saw a crime on this property, we would never be able to put down the phone.”
“The heroin use is more than you could imagine, and confronting those who are using it is always risky. Sometimes they leave when asked; sometimes, they fight. We try not to address these issues alone.”
When asked why they don’t call the police, an employee said, “The response can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour and a half. Unfortunately, waiting is not always the safest option.”
He added, “We don’t blame the police. We know they are busy and probably just responding to calls from other businesses. We also know that most of these crimes would never be prosecuted anyway, which is pretty demoralizing for us and the officers.”
Another employee wanted to add, “Crime in Burien has skyrocketed in recent years. It’s not just when I’m at work; I get threatened at home too. People are getting used to it and reporting it less and less. I worry about my kids’ safety every day. I would leave this city but unfortunately can’t afford to.”