Disabled man, 56, beaten with hammer during robbery

LYNNWOOD — Police have arrested an 18-year-old for allegedly attacking a disabled man with a hammer during an apparent robbery at the man’s Lynnwood apartment.

The man, 56, told police that three young people forced their way into his apartment Thursday morning. One used an electric stun gun to shock him, and another clobbered him repeatedly with a hammer. The man has cerebral palsy.

Detectives noted that the man had several wounds consistent with being hit with a hammer. Doctors told police that the man also was stabbed multiple times. His lung was punctured and his left clavicle also appeared broken. Because of the extent of his injuries, the man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He was listed in stable condition Friday night.

In addition to the 18-year-old, an Edmonds man, 20, and 15-year-old Lynnwood girl also were in custody Friday evening for investigation of the same attack.

The investigation is ongoing, and there may be additional arrests, Lynnwood police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions said.

A neighbor reported hearing three people yelling and swearing and also heard another man screaming, according to a police affidavit. The witness reported hearing footsteps and activity in a nearby apartment.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for that apartment, which is rented by the teenager. They found a bloody shirt in a closet and drug paraphernalia, according to court records.

Police arrested the renter, Nicholas Brunson. He told detectives that he’d planned to rob the victim for a couple of weeks after he’d seen the man’s laptop computer. Earlier that day, Brunson’s roommate had accompanied the disabled man to the store and noticed that he had a stack of money in his wallet.

After learning about the money, Brunson said he recruited two others to help with the robbery, according to court papers. He told detectives he armed himself with a hammer and one of his accomplices had a Taser. He said he struck the man 20 times in the head with the hammer in an attempt to knock him out.

One robber grabbed the computer and then they fled. Brunson told detectives the trio returned to his apartment, changed their clothes and went to a rave party.

He allegedly told detectives he didn’t feel bad for attacking and robbing a disabled person. He said he had been planning to rob the man because “he was weak and feeble.” Brunson also told detectives that he thought about returning the apartment after the attack to “finish him off.”

Brunson was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree assault, robbery and burglary. A judge on Friday found probable cause to hold him on $250,000 bail.

Rikki King contributed to this report.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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