Mountlake Terrace man assaults four — including Swedish hospital employee and Edmonds police sergeant — in Saturday incident

Edmonds Police Sgt. Shane Hawley was injured in Saturday’s attack. (Photos courtesy Edmonds police)

Edmonds police say they are referring mutiple charges, including felony assault, to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office after a 23-year-old Mountlake Terrace man attacked a Swedish Hospital employee last Saturday morning before fleeing the hospital and running naked through the streets of Edmonds. The suspect also assaulted three more people, including a 71-year old woman and an Edmonds police sergeant, before being taken into custody.

According to Edmonds police spokesperson Sgt. Josh McClure, the incident unfolded around 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 when officers responded to an assault that had just occurred at Swedish Hospital. “The suspect had committed an unprovoked and vicious attack on a medical technician by punching her three times in the head and face as she sat at her work station,” McClure said. The suspect had been brought to the hospital earlier by Mountlake Terrace Police after a mental crisis incident that reportedly also involved violent behavior, he added.

After fleeing the hospital on foot, the suspect stripped off his hospital scrubs. Officers then received multiple calls from the public about a naked man running near Highway 99. Subsequently, the suspect was witnessed assaulting a motorist in the Dick’s Drive-In parking lot. “Responding officers found the naked suspect who immediately fled from them,” McClure said.

The vehicle dented by the suspect.

The man then ran into the parking lot of another business, approaching vehicle occupied by the 71-year old woman, from Puyallup. “The subject punched the driver’s side door frame with his bare fist, causing a large dent,” McClure said. “He then opened her car door and started punching the woman before fleeing again. Officers caught up to him a short distance later, where he disregarded all verbal commands to surrender. Officers attempted four different Taser deployments, none of which were effective.”

The suspect was ultimately contained in a parking lot, where he charged several officers and punched Edmonds police Sgt. Shane Hawley in the face. Officers were able to subdue the man following a brief struggle. Aid personnel responded to the scene to evaluate the woman, the suspect and the sergeant, McClure said.

The hospital employee, a 27-year-old female, suffered swelling and bruising to her head and face. The woman from Puyallup received injuries to her face, leaving her bruised and swollen as well. Hawley, a 19-year veteran, suffered bleeding, swelling and bruising to his face. He was evaluated at the hospital before returning to duty.

The second motorist that was assaulted  — as witnessed by other bystanders — left the area before officers could make contact. Police would still like to speak with that motorist and are asking the victim to contact Edmonds police, McClure said.

The suspect was returned to the hospital for further mental health and medical evaluations, and police were told the suspect was moved to a secure section of the hospital, McClure added.

“I am incredibly proud of the response of our officers to this incident,” said Acting Edmonds Police Chief Jim Lawless. “The thought that someone is less of a threat because they have stripped their clothing and are unarmed is just not true. This subject was impervious to any sort of pain and had no regard for the safety of others. This is yet another example of the dangerous situations officers deal with on a daily basis and their dedication to public safety, despite risks to their own safety. Our officers handled themselves with extreme professionalism and demonstrated a dedication to the safety of the public and the suspect.”



  1. In my opinion he should have been cuffed and taken to the jail. Then keeping him in restraints. He should never have been in this hospital. If it was so secure how did he get out to punch out the office person before stripping down. Where was security? Lots of odd things here.
    Were we trying to be nice again.?
    Please next time. Either sedate the hell out of him and cuff him. A straight jacket perhaps. How did this happen. Sounds like he shouldn’t have been taken to this hospital. Sounds like a huge wrong decision was made. So who made the decisions. 1. To take him to a tiny hospital? Was it police or someone else? 2. How and why was the hospital so lax with someone they already knew was violent and brought in by police. 3. Next time take a person like this to a proper secure facility…They are called Mental Hospitals.
    This was a lot of very bad decisions that led to several more people hurt. Those women and policeman could have died from multiple head punches.
    Tsk.tsk. Don’t let this happen again…and people, neighbors if you see someone coming at your car like that gun it..don’t worry about what you might hit…get away. Never let them in your car or even near. Should have gunned it..and used your car as your weapon. self defense is self defense.

      1. There are quite a few. Problem here in Washington is the process. Here they require a ‘medical clearance’. LOL!

        No one who has a diagnose history of mental health should be sent to a hospital that has no treatment for mental health. That is what needs to be corrected. If one is off his/her medication they should be sent straight to a mental health facility. No questions asked.

        They should also be allowed only (3) instances of not taking medication. After the 3rd instance…

        Institutionalized for life. Stop putting the rest of society at high risk for folks who have documented serious mental health conditions that put others at risk.

    1. As a retired LEO from southern California and currently working at an area hospital in south King county I can tell you first hand all the hospitals in this area align themselves in how they deal with these types of dangerous people. It starts with creating and fostering an unsafe work environment that seriously ill equipped to deal with these people. Prior to working the currently facility I was at Evergreenhealth…same routine there.

      They are very lax on the use of restraints. So much so that staff are routinely assaulted. Hospitals in Washington are treated as jails. Where as in California I could not dump these types of dangerous folks off an an ER. They were transported to a jail facility or to the county hospital (LA) which has the means of dealing with them. Many police agencies merely dump them off in an ER under the guise….Gravely disabled. Many times with little to no paperwork. This is unacceptable.

  2. Swedish Edmonds is absolutely the right place for this individual. They evaluate mentally unstable people all the time, and have an inpatient psychiatric unit when deemed necessary. Yes, mistakes were made in this case, and I’m sure there will be lessons learned, but the laws regarding restraining individuals protect the patient over the caregivers, and the bar is very high for authorizing restraints of any kind. The question should be, was the individual behaving dangerously in the ER prior to the first assault in that facility? When brought in, did the police communicate that he was dangerously violent? We cannot (and should not) know the details of his treatment once he entered the Swedish facility. To characterize the hospital as incapable of handling this type of patient is unfair and unwarranted.

    1. They know. And It isn’t their fault he was taken there. Where was he sent from?
      It isn’t the fault of Edmonds police either.
      I will get to the bottom of this. I don’t like being dissed.

    2. He was brought in the previous night by Mount Lake PD for the exact same thing. And no that hospital is no better equipped than any other hospital in the area. They do not offer mental health treatment. They are merely a staging area for transport to a 3rd party facility.

      When the public is put at risk it is a public issue. Stop siding with their right. Stop being part of the problem.

    3. No ER is equipped for folks like this. Jail is the only appropriate place. I’m a retired LEO from southern California and have worked several hospitals in the are for training security staff. Every hospital I’ve trained at all operate the same way (very lackadaisical) with regards to wanting to improve safety. As a result staff are routinely injured. Some to the point of not being able to return to work.

      This is an issue that is only going to get worse. It’s at the point where it needs addressing on a legislative level. Hospital administrators are far too incompetent to provide what’s needed.

  3. I hope everyone is okay and healing, and thank you to our police department. This is an excellent example of how dire the addiction/mental health crisis is in this country.

    Deborah, the answer to Christine’s question is: “there aren’t any”.

    1. Wrong. What do you think Western State is? It is designated for our county as well as 13 others. Where do you think the psychotic, violent killers that are sent to these facilities instead of state prison go…Just where I said.
      I researched all of this before I replied. You are the one who is incorrect and uninformed.

      1. Western State is about 75 miles from Edmonds. People who are detained by police and thought to be in a mental health crisis can be evaluated by a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist in a local hospital. Harborview is set up to handle evaluations, and, according to April Cook (thanks for the information, April), so is Swedish Edmonds so it makes sense that the man was taken there. It doesn’t make sense that he wasn’t restrained given that he apparently demonstrated violent tendencies when he was originally contacted, but since we don’t know everything that happened it’s difficult to know what might have gone wrong with the situation at the hospital. I hope the man gets the help he needs, and that all the injured are okay. Very sad situation all around.

        1. That isn’t what occurs in a hospital. Once brought in they are put into a gown, personal items taken, and left in a room observed by CCTV. Often times with no restraints even if violent behavior is known. That is unacceptable. How do I know this? because I have worked in (2) hospitals here in Washington after retiring from a career in law enforcement in southern California.

    1. I said they are not set up for psychotic. I did not say they are a bad hospital.
      It states right on the site what their mental health specialties are. Violent psychotic is not one of them. This is not Swedish Hospitals fault either.
      This is all odd.

      1. It is partly Swedish fault.


        When the subject was brought in the previous night a report was given by Mount Lake PD as to why he was being involuntary held (violence related). As a result the staff incompetency led to him being able to leave. he did not ‘escape’. If he was restrained (4-point restraints) that would not have happened.

        I’ll bet what happened was the following….

        1. Shortly after arriving the subject was removed of clothing and personal possessions then given a gown. Afterwards staff either…

        1. Decided not to restrain him (happens far too often)

        2. Decided to put subject into seclusion room. The problem with this is it often ramps up their behavior and at some point staff have to open the door. It’s at this point the person fights. Very dangerous.

        But given we know the subject walked up onto a nurse sitting at a desk tells me he was not restrained or in seclusion. if the nurse is smart…hire an attorney.

  4. Once again, the Edmonds Police Department and especially Sgt. Shane Hawley got a potential dangerous situation under control. Definitely, the patient should have been under better control at the hospital. I am sure lessons have been learned with this situation. One big lessons for us all would be: keep your car doors locked at all times, whether you are inside it or not. Do whatever you can do to be safe and protect your belongings. I hope everyone is feeling better now after the attack. Keep your cars locked! Be safe!

  5. Thank you Sgt. Hawley and the rest of the courageous EPD for your action in protecting the city.

    One thing that is clear from this case is that this Nation needs much more effective non lethal weapons and tools to use in situations like these. After deploying four different taser deployment on the out of control violent man that were unsuccessful, there were no options except for direct physical force.

    Fortunately there were enough officers on the scene to be able to keep the violence from spreading or escalating worse. We are incredibly lucky that we have not been subject to the defund disasters that other cities have engaged in.

    1. It’s exactly the situation they taught us in the police academy to not put yourself in. Far too many officers have been killed in the exact same scenario. There were 4 officers and 4 guns in that incident. As a retired LEO you do not get lucky that often in those scenarios.

  6. I support our Edmonds Police Department and they know it. I want them active. They know that too.
    I am very sorry about Officer Hawley. They have always been here when I needed them. I am not for their defunding…not allowed to police as they see fit and where. We have a very consciences dept. Always have in the 33 years I have lived here. I of course think sensitivity training is great for all police…I would imagine they agree. To stifle them…is a bad idea. To weed out any with previous disciplinary issues good idea. But to stop a police department from policing…it isn’t cool. It isn’t WOKE, it is foolish.
    Considering what this very violent man did they had no choice but to take him..apparently even that couldn’t stop this very ill individual.
    So be careful Edmonds PD…Im with you. Deb.

  7. After working in law enforcement for many years and in Security at Swedish for 11 years, this is my opinion on what very possibly happened. The third comment by April Cook is very accurate. Normally people are sent in via AMR for mental health issues and sometimes the Police bring someone in for a “Psych Hold” evaluation. FYI, a crime has to be committed to be booked into jail, not just acting out in public. From my experience, people on “PCP” act out violently, and then calm, and then violent again, and have little or NO tolerance to pain. Also, for some reason in my experience they prefer to remove their clothing. He could have had numerous substances on board too. It appears he wasn’t restrained when brought to the hospital, and prior to anything else he assaulted the RN. I have handled hundreds of people like this, and it is very dangerous, been injured many times. We carried handcuffs and Tasers, but unfortunately “hands on” was necessary at times too. God’s speed all.

    1. Tod,
      This sounds like one of the most terrifying jobs I can even image. Thank you for sharing this insight. In your opinion, what is the best possible solution to this scenario that seems to be happening often?
      Thank you for your service!

    2. Here in Washington a crime often times won’t get one booked once he’s been invol by PD. That is the mistake made here in Washington. We do not do it that way in California. You go to county equipped facility. No ED dumping.

      As for Tasers….they are only effective ~50 percent of the time. In this instance…zero. Lesson learned from this…Deadly force authorized. Next time the officer won’t be so lucky. There were 4 guns involved in that incident and this time no one was killed. You willing to bet the next time it will end the same?

  8. If I may, one additional point from my earlier post as it references being taken to a Mental Facility. Someone mentioned above that this guy should have gone to a Psych Hospital. I always thought the same until I worked Security in the ER. Any can check into a unit “Voluntarily”, but Involuntarily must be deemed necessary for his/her own safety or the public by a County Mental Health Professional “MPH.” In the ER, a Social Worker would conduct the initial assessment, and then if necessary would contact the MPH folks for an “involuntary hold.” Unfortunately, a lot of times it would take several hours until they arrived, and as mentioned above restraints were applied under strict guidelines for everyone’s safety. FYI, Ballard Swedish, Northwest Hospital, West Seattle Psych, and Fairfax in Kirkland ( to name a few ) all had Psych Units when I was working. Again & unfortunately, hospitals end up doing “Psych” boarding when those facilities are full. Thankyou.

    1. And that is exactly the problem with mental health care in Washington. Hospitals are not equipped or are willing to even do what is necessary to keep staff safe. The state supreme court in Washington already ruled….No boarding in the ER under any circumstance. Yet it continues to be done on a routine basis.

      By law one who checks themselves in voluntary is not to be voluntary if they make SI or HI statements to staff. It is voluntary only up to the point that one admits self harm to self or others. At that point they are involuntary.

      Often times staff routinely do not follow that. Creating a had hazard safety risk for others.

    2. An voluntary invol hold is only voluntary until the person admits ‘SI or HI (suicidal/homicidal thoughts). Once a nurse/MD determine this the person by law is no longer ‘voluntary’. All too often staff play the game that the person is ‘voluntary’ even after the person has admitted SI/HI thoughts. I constantly remind them this is illegal. Doing so you are violating their rights as well as the safety of others including themselves.

      We do not use MHP or DCR persons in California. This is partly why the ER’s end up with droves of mental health folks clogging the ER. This presents a very dangerous situation. Especially since almost all the hospitals do not wish to bring the security level to what it needs to be in order to keep staff safe.

  9. Sounds like Excited Delirium. This condition is why [I say as an opinion which is supported by facts I have seen] George Floyd was saying he couldn’t breathe while in the back of a car and why he was attempting to take his clothes off and get on the ground.

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