This story has been updated since first posting following the swearing of charges in court. It has also been updated to include an eyewitness account.
A West Vancouver man is facing charges of assault and malicious mischief after allegedly going on a bizarre rampage in downtown Seattle July 25.
Video captured by bystanders and posted on social media shows a man standing on top of a car in the middle of the street, tearing the sunroof off the top of a vehicle and then swinging it wildly at a parking attendant and trying to hit him with it.
According to a report by the Seattle Police Department and documents filed by prosecutors in King County court, the strange incident started during evening rush hour around 5:40 Thursday afternoon, when a man attempted to strangle a stranger, Bradley Holland, on a downtown Seattle street. The alleged attacker continued walking and near Second Avenue and Spring Street jumped on top of a Toyota Corolla that was stopped in traffic, damaging the roof. The man then hopped on to another vehicle, before jumping on to the hood of a black Tesla 3, denting it then “threw his body against the Tesla’s windshield, severely damaging it,” according to the police report.
The man then jumped on to the roof of a grey Honda Civic, ripped a moon roof window off the vehicle and jumped into the street, swinging it at an off-duty traffic officer, Toner Eren, attempting to assault him with it.
The man then allegedly grabbed the face of the off-duty officer with his hands, sticking a finger into the officer's left eye, according to the police report. The off-duty officer told police he believed the man was “attempting to gouge his eyes out,” according to the reports.
The off-duty officer was then knocked to the ground before numerous bystanders helped to subdue his attacker on the ground.
Had an interesting drive home... pic.twitter.com/lJZ71spORS— Matt Reynolds (@robotwood) July 26, 2019
Christopher Sanders of Seattle was one of those and saw the whole incident unfold.
Sanders said he was with a friend in a car waiting at a stop light when “next thing I know this guy started jumping up people’s cars and jumping from car to car.”
At first, people in the area kept their distance, he said.
But when the man began to attack the officer “that’s when we all jumped in to stop this guy,” said Sanders. “He was trying to seriously hurt this man. He was swinging the sunroof of the car just like a bat, like he was trying to hit a home run.”
Sanders said about five bystanders eventually pulled the attacker off the traffic officer and held him down until police arrived.
Sanders can be seen in video footage of the drama wearing a black shirt and blue cap, helping to hold the man down.
“He was definitely under the influence of something. I’m not sure what it was,” said Sanders. “Whatever he was under the influence of was definitely causing him to act like he was acting. It was like he had super human strength.”
Sanders said he wasn’t scared but was left wondering of the attacker, “How has your day been in order for you to act this way?”
Asked if he’s seen anything like this before, Sanders said, “growing up in Seattle, yes” but added with the recent drug epidemic, “I think things have gotten a little worse.”
Police officers who arrived on the scene shortly after described the alleged attacker as being in a “highly agitated, most likely drug induced state.”
Damage to the vehicles was estimated by police at about $18,000, including $10,000 damage to the Tesla.
Matt Reynolds, owner of the Tesla, started filming the melee after the man jumped on to the hood of his car. His video includes footage of a man ripping up another car's sunroof, the alleged attack on the traffic officer and the eventual takedown by citizens and police.
On Tuesday, 28-year-old Alexander Charles Ormiston of West Vancouver was charged with one count of second-degree assault, one count of fourth-degree assault and malicious mischief.
The court ordered that Ormiston be placed in the custody of his father who must bring him to and from future court appearances, according to information released by a public affairs officer of King County court on Tuesday afternoon. Ormiston was also ordered to check in to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver for treatment and to have no contact with the victims in the case. He must also appear in court for his arraignment hearing set for Aug. 12.