King County Sheriff’s Office released video of what Sheriff Sue Rahr called a “vicious and unprovoked attack” on a 17-year-old pregnant girl and her 19-year-old boyfriend as they rode a packed Metro bus in November.
“I was shocked,” Rahr said during a news conference carried live on kirotv.com. “I was shocked at how vicious it was, and how unprovoked.”
Five girls, age 14 through 19, were arrested after the incident that happened on a Route 358 bus in downtown Seattle on Nov. 19.
The two victims boarded the northbound bus in downtown Seattle. At Westlake, the group of teen attackers got on.
Within seconds of boarding the bus, and without warning, one of the girls grabbed a Zune mp3 player from a 17-year-old girl.
One of the attackers claimed that the boyfriend had taken her phone at a party, an allegation the sheriff said was never confirmed. The young couple was kicked and hit. The 17-year-old suffered a cut near her eye that required six stitches.
Passengers yelled at the driver to stop the bus, and he pulled over and notified police.
Within 30 minutes, Metro Transit Police tracked down and arrested three of the alleged attackers near North 85th Street and Aurora Avenue North. Days later, Seattle police arrested the other two.
The 19-year-old, Ayana Cain, was charged with assault. The other four were charged with second-degree robbery. Three of them remain in custody, and the fourth on is on electronic home monitoring.
“All of the girls have had previous contact with the criminal justice system. It’s troubling that the previous contact doesn’t appear to have deterred their aggressive and violent behavior,” Rahr said.