Man recovering from injuries after fending off Lynnwood attacker July 4

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The parking area of Pacific Park Apartments, location of the reported July 4th attack. (Photo courtesy Google)

This year’s Fourth of July ended on decidedly sour note for Edmonds resident Hassan Abukar, who was robbed and bloodied in a vicious attack just outside his Highway 99 apartment by a panhandler to whom he’d just given money.

According to police documents filed with the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, Abukar went out for a late-evening walk to get some fresh air before retiring for the night. A few blocks south of his apartment, he was approached by a man asking for cigarettes and money. Telling the man he didn’t smoke, Abukar kept walking back toward his home, the Pacific Park Apartments at 23150 Highway 99.

But the man followed and approached him again at the parking area entrance, once more asking for money.

“He wouldn’t leave me alone,” Abukar told police, “so I gave him a dollar.”

Not satisfied with this, the man got angry and attacked him.

During the fight, they both fell to the ground. Abukar told police that the suspect was “swinging at him,” wrenched away his cell phone, and at one point grabbed a large rock, slamming it into his head and leaving him momentarily dazed. Quickly regaining his senses, Abukar pulled away and got behind his attacker, grabbing him around the neck and yelling for neighbors to call police. The attacker broke free and fled, but left behind his sweatshirt that he’d lost in the scuffle.

An unidentified neighbor heard Abukar yelling for help and called 911. Edmonds police responded within minutes, finding “a significant gash near [the victim’s] left eye which caused the blood on his face, hands, and chest,” which required six stitches to close. Police also found on the ground a black and white sweatshirt, which the victim identified as belonging to the attacker. He described the suspect as “a white male, about 30-40 years old wearing what he thought was a white t-shirt.”

Officers immediately searched the area and found the suspect with “blood and abrasions on his right hand and the back of his head,” and that the blood “looked fairly fresh and had not finished drying yet.”  The suspected attacker, age 35 and from Lynnwood, admitted to officers that he’d been in a fight, and later identified the sweatshirt left at the scene as belonging to him.

The suspect was taken into custody and booked into the Snohomish County Jail, where he is currently being held on suspicion of robbery with a deadly weapon (under RCW 9A-04-110(6) a rock is considered a deadly weapon). Bail is set at $50,000.

During an interview with KIRO-TV, Abukar, who is originally from Somalia, said that although he’s always felt safe here and never had any problems, he no longer feels secure, adding: “If I know somebody was going to attack me like this I’d never come here.”

— By Larry Vogel

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