A man who is probably on drugs smashes a window of a restaurant in Ballard, part of Seattle. He then grabs some sharp piece of broken glass and starts menacing people who scatter. He is reportedly high on both meth and pcp.
The man then ran down the street menacing people and found a person to attack successfully, the sister of Gary Holosek. Gary Holosek then intervenes to protect his sister and does what he can to remove the glass from the hands of the attacker. At or shortly after this point, 3 bystanders join and also help to restrain the attacker.
Holosek and his sister are both injured in the attack but the injuries are not reported as life-threatening. The news reports them as minor. They could have been much worse and they could be bad if they lead to any of dozens of infections. Presumably the man high on meth does not have any major infections and was not spitting while attacking or being restrained, for Holosek and his sister were both cut, it seems. Holosek believes that the attacker nearly slit the sister’s throat and might have done so without his intervention.
I assume that this may mean that there were several dozen people who lacked firearms, lacked pepper spray or anything else similar. Of course, a person might have had a firearm and declined to use it. Some who carry are reluctant to draw their firearm in defense of others.
Pepper spray at times works and at times does not function properly. Most of the time pepper spray will work but problems are reported in cases of wind, when the canister has become empty without one’s knowing it or when the canister has lost pressure without that being known. Even when pepper spray functions properly, its effect is reportedly reduced when used on some people who are high on drugs . . . and when used on some people who are not high in drugs, some persons can, it is reported, continue an attack for about a minute while the pepper spray is taking full effect. Supposedly it is a part of some police training in some locations to be pepper sprayed and to continue an attack for as long as possible. And, supposedly, various police-persons-in-training continue an attack for a minute or so after someone has tried to pepper spray them.
Seattle seems to love the idea of people not being armed in any of several possible ways. Pepper spray probably could have helped and nevertheless no one is reported as having used it. Jon Meis of SPU tries to carry his everywhere. Throwing stars could have helped, but no one is reported as carrying them. Seattle has parks rangers and they are all, reportedly, completely unarmed. Seattle and Metro have tunnel transit security people and they are also completely unarmed, except in the sense that they have had basic hand-to-hand arrest-or-combat training.
A person with martial arts training, if he had chosen to intervene, might have taken the risk and kicked one of the legs of the guy with the glass. If the man with glass was slow to respond, he might have fallen and/or had his leg broken.
The city of Seattle currently prohibits a person from carrying a half dozen weapons of lesser lethality than firearms. By Seattle law, it is illegal to possess or carry throwing stars or nunchucks.
A variety of Seattle police persons take reports of assaults, attacks and threats and often do so without asking about or suggesting weapons carry to the persons who have been attacked, assaulted or otherwise threatened. I assume that some Seattle police patrol persons take reports of persons being groped, raped or sexually assaulted and if their behavior is consistent with those officers who take reports of non-sexual assaults, officers who take reports of rape or sexual assault also decline to encourage weapons carry to victims of rape and sexual assault. But maybe the behavior of a few Seattle police officers is different and maybe there are special assault victim counselours who would in fact recommend weapons carry to those who are assaulted.
This attack took place in daylight in what is reported to be, apparently, dozens of witnesses and persons who were menaced. It was stopped when the guy attacked the sister of an unarmed man who intervened despite risk and injury to himself, partly because he was willing to defend his sister.
There are reportedly attacks such as this and worse that take place on Capitol hill with no one intervening although they take place within sight of bystanders. Often such attacks take place after dark. One attack reported in the news took place on Denny between the Seattle Center and Capitol Hill during what seem to be daylight hours, on the day of and after Pride festivities. Without a firearm or other weapons, a lot of people will not get involved in stopping an attack, even if an aggressive man is stomping the head of a woman or other victim, such as the news reports took place June 2015 near the Seattle Center.
Perhaps, to reduce rape, robbery and assault on capitol hill, Kathleen O’Toole could recommend that those who travel on Capitol Hill sidewalks do so in the presence of a blood brother, because at least one blood brother in Seattle will intervene to protect his sister, even if he is unarmed. The presence of an unarmed blood brother in Ballard may have stopped a murder.
I have a family that is religiously divided and I regard some of my blood brothers and blood sisters as liars. I have a passionate dislike for them, religiously speaking, although we are perfectly civil in person or telephone conversations. If I were in the presence of such a liar who was being attacked, I would actually think twice before intervening on his or her behalf and I just now started calculating what Christmas gifts they have sent to me, as if that factor might influence my calculations as to whether or not to intervene to protect a blood relative of mine. Maybe God will have a talk with me about that after I am dead and explain to me that I should intervene to protect anyone, even people I regard as known liars, against the attacks of people with glass who are on drugs.
Some may suppose that some of the people on Capitol Hill who are witnessing attacks do not include the idea that God and they will have a conversation later about their conduct while they were in the presence of an attack. So, some unarmed bystanders have somewhat less likelihood of intervening than of David’s intervening.
The tunnel transit security people who are unarmed are also told not to intervene if they believe it would be unsafe for them to do so and their lack of safety is increased by an attacker or an aggressor having a weapon.
The people for whom we pay taxes to pay their salaries to protect the bus tunnels as “transit security” may or may not have intervened to protect a person subjected to being stabbed or slashed to death in a glass attack and they often would not intervene in a knife attack.
When asked as to why bus tunnel security do not carry weapons, bus tunnel security will tell you that it is because they do not wish to seem unfriendly. Would Seattle parks Rangers intervene in a glass attack? Some of them are former police, so, maybe. Would the Seattle mayor or the city council members intervene in glass attack? We don’t know, but statistically speaking, the first person to come to the defense of Holosek’s sister was Holosek and the others did not intervene till Holosek had begun the takedown of the guy. So, statistically speaking, I will hazard the guess that most Seattle city council members would not have intervened till after Holobek had started his defense, although one of them is former police and presumably he would, armed or not.
That is, if Seattle city council members were unarmed as were the people in Ballard this day . . . and if they avoided directly confronting the guy on meth with the glass when he was running around as did the other residents . . . and if they abstained from getting involved in the attack till after Holosek intervened to defend his sister in the flesh and been wounded while taking the guy down . . . If the Seattle city council members behaved as did the persons in Ballard in the presence of the maniac, then, there is an excellent chance they would not have confronted the man or intervened in the attack or have waited to intervene till after he was being taken down by a blood relative of someone who was nearly murdered.
Would a person armed with only pepper spray have wished to disarm or take down the man with glass? I don’t know.
Another possible difficulty with the use of pepper spray is that you need to have some distance between you and the person would be spraying. Within a few feet of a person about to be pepper sprayed, there is the possibility that the man to be sprayed hits or slashes you before the use of the spray. Police persons do not even like to be within 15 to 20 feet of a person with a knife, and a person with a knife has a realistic chance of attack on a police person, within 20 feet, if the police person has not yet drawn his firearm. Some police have even carelessly shot a fellow with knife who was not menacing simply because they are so agitated by their training about the possibility of being rushed upon.