On Christmas night a repeat offender in Seattle named Abdalla Jama, who is homeless and has mental problems, began to start fights with people on the premises of Exhibition Hall in Queen Anne. A security guard saw what was happening and approached Jama to move him away from others. Jama then took a swing at the guard. The guard attempted to grab Jama to prevent getting hit and Jama head-butted him in the chin.
According to a written statement by Seattle police, the guard said Jama took a swing at him and then head-butted him when the guard tried to restrain him.
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office received that case but Jama ended up being given a conditional release within hours of his arrest.
The Christmas Day arrest was Jama’s 5th arrest this year. In October he had been arrested for trying to strangle someone near a Salvation Army center. In that case, he was prosecuted and served a month in jail.
But there were no charges filed in the Christmas Day attack. Q13 reports that the City Attorney’s office released Jama because “there wasn’t enough proof and…the security guard was the first to initiate physical contact.” In short, City Attorney Pete Holmes office decided to blame the victim and put repeat violent offender Abdalla Jama back on the street. That decision had life-altering consequences for another man just hours later.
The next day, about 6 hours after being released from jail, Jama is accused of beating Timothy L. Gravermoen so badly near the King County Courthouse, the victim was found bleeding and barely alive.
Police say Jama hit Gravermoen to the ground and as he laid defenseless, Jama allegedly beat and kicked Gravermoen so viciously that you could see the 62-year-old’s skull.
Witnesses told police there was some type of argument between the two men before the vicious attack at City Hall Park which is right next to the courthouse. People around there say they’ve seen Jama at the park before selling crack cocaine. Gravermoen was rushed to Harborview in critical condition.
The victim in this attack, Timothy Gavermoen, is a 62-year-old homeless man. So if the idea of releasing Jama was to go easy on the homeless, it didn’t really work out that way.
We’ve seen all of this before. Pete Holmes has fought to keep repeat offenders like Jama out of jail before. Francisco Calderon had been convicted of crimes 72 separate times, 14 of them were felonies. But last year Holmes still sought to give Calderon a pass on his latest violent assault. When a judge refused to go along with the city’s revolving door of justice and sent Calderon to jail, Holmes publicly attacked the judge and even claimed he’d set up the whole thing to garner headlines.
The story of Abdalla Jama is also similar to the story of homeless addict Travis Berge who was also in and out of jail dozens of times and finally wound up murdering his girlfriend and killing himself.
It really is astounding what people in Seattle are willing to tolerate from public servants like City Attorney Pete Holmes. In almost any other job Holmes would have been fired by now but as City Attorney, he keeps making costly mistakes and there seem to be no consequences at all, at least not for him. There are of course consequences for people like Timothy L. Gravermoen who is still fighting for his life in the ICU.
Here’s the Q13 report.