A transit rider steps onto a Community Transit bus on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A transit rider steps onto a Community Transit bus on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Police: Passenger randomly stabs man in neck on bus in Everett

The two passengers reportedly did not know each other before the attack. Police arrested a suspect hours later.

EVERETT — A man on a Community Transit bus was arrested for stabbing another passenger in the neck in a seemingly random attack Wednesday evening in Everett, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, two men who did not know each other boarded a bus at the Everett Station at 3201 Smith Ave., sheriff’s office spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said. The two men reportedly did not talk with each other on the trip.

As the articulated bus approached a stop at Pacific Avenue and Broadway, the 28-year-old began walking toward the bus exit. The assailant then pulled out a knife from his backpack and — for no apparent reason — stabbed the other man, 49, in the “upper neck/lower head area,” according to a police report filed in court Thursday. The attacker exited the bus and ran away.

The injured man was taken to Providence Regional Medical Everett with non-life threatening injuries, O’Keefe said.

In security footage, police noted the attacker wore a black zip-up athletic jacket with a black undershirt and black pants. He had spiky hair and dirty white shoes.

Around 10 p.m., Community Transit security officers spotted the suspect walking near Broadway and 14th Street over a mile south from the attack scene. Law enforcement officers arrived and arrested the man “without incident,” O’Keefe said.

The suspect was booked into Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree assault.

The Lynnwood man, 28, appeared Thursday in Everett District Court, unrestrained but surrounded by jail guards. Judge Tam Bui set bail at $250,000.

The Lynnwood man has an extensive history of mental illness and violence, according to court records.

After an arrest for attempting to elude police in 2015, a forensic mental health report showed he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, stimulant use disorder and cannabis use disorder. The case was later dismissed because the “defendant is not competent to stand trial and is not further restorable.” The judge found he should be civilly committed.

In January 2020, the man was at Swedish Edmonds’ psychiatric unit. He reportedly wandered into the nurse’s station asked a nurse if he wanted to fight and then “punched him in the head multiple times,” according to charging papers.

In January 2021, the man was back at Swedish Edmonds’ emergency room. As soon as a doctor slid back a curtain to see him, the man asked the doctor, “You want some?” and punched him in the eye. He was charged with two counts of third degree assault of a health care worker.

In February 2021, his sister reported him for domestic violence. She told deputies she wanted him “moved along due to his mental illness,” according to court documents. The suspect then took “a fighting stance and squared off” against a deputy. The man reportedly kicked him. The deputy drew his Taser, and from that point on, the man followed the deputy’s orders, charging papers say.

Three days later in jail, he was banging his head against a glass window “in an attempt to break it as he had previously done in another cell,” according to charging papers. He reportedly refused to follow instructions as deputies assembled armed with a pepper ball gun to subdue him. The pepper ball gun malfunctioned. The inmate charged at a deputy, and another deputy tackled him. The man punched that deputy in the face twice on the ground, the charges say. The deputy hit back until the inmate said, “I quit, I quit.”

A trial for all of those charges had been scheduled for July.

Following his arraignment in September, Superior Court Judge Anita Farris released the man from jail without requiring him to post bail. Under the terms of the release, he was banned from possessing “any dangerous weapon or firearm.”

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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