Surveillance video captured an assailant viciously attacking and robbing a man in broad daylight in Seattle, Washington, last month as critics argue the city has nowhere near enough police presence to crack down on soaring crime.
The victim, a 22-year-old freelance photographer, was allegedly vacationing in the city when he was beaten unconscious and robbed while walking in the Mount Baker neighborhood. He is reportedly still suffering from severe injuries.
According to Seattle police, the attacker approached the photographer, known on social media as Caliber Visuals, at around 6 p.m. local time. The two appeared to shake hands before things unexpectedly turned violent.
"The suspect then threw the victim to the ground, stomped on him and kicked him repeatedly, knocking the victim unconscious. The suspect then rummaged through the victim's pockets and stole his wallet and keys before walking away," police reported.
Police added that a bystander later came to the victim's aid by alerting authorities. After medics arrived at the scene, the victim was transported to the hospital, where "he received treatment for head trauma and significant injuries to his face."
In a post on a GoFundMe page he started, the victim claimed that he suffered a brain hemorrhage and a fractured left eye during the assault. He added that four days after the attack he was still "spitting up blood."
The assailant reportedly stole the victim's cell phone, wallet, $900 in cash, and car keys that cost several hundred dollars to replace.
Police are looking for help identifying the attacker, whom they describe as a "Black male, 5'10", 180 lbs., with a medium build."
Conservative Seattle talk radio host Jason Rantz argued that brazen attacks such as the one against the freelance photographer are becoming more prevalent amid the city's crime surge and defund the police movement.
"Mount Baker is known to have a crime issue, but the city doesn't have enough police to proactively walk, drive, or bike around neighborhoods as a deterrent," Rantz noted in an opinion piece about the attack.
Last month, a couple in Seattle was attacked and beaten with a machete, rocks, and a 5-foot wooden pole while attempting to retrieve stolen items from a homeless encampment. Following that attack, Rantz claimed that police in the city are being prevented from monitoring homeless camps.
A worker near the scene of the latest attack argued that police are being hamstrung and consequently criminals are becoming emboldened.
"It's disheartening to watch this happen around our city, and nothing's being done about it," the worker told KIRO-TV. "It's been going on for years, and it seems to be the city council has let this continue to happen."
"We're tired of this," he added. "There's no reason we should be walking around in fear."