• Ballard business owner hailed a hero; recovering after being stabbed by vandals slashing tires

    By: Siemny Kim


    SEATTLE - The owner of a Ballard tattoo shop risked his own life when he confronted someone slashing tires outside of his business.

    “It was really scary,” Brooklyn Witteman said. “We love Johnny a lot and in that moment, we were just praying for him.”

    Johnny Robinson, who also goes by artist name, Johnny Sunset, owns Electric Traveler Tattoo off NW 44th Street and Leary Way.

    Neither Witteman, nor artist Ryan Brann, are surprised that Robinson would risk his life to protect others.

    “Stand up dude. At the end of the day someone you know is against bullying. Whether that's in the form of vandalizing vehicles or picking on someone, he’s the first person to stand up and call someone out when something is wrong,” Brann explained.

    Brann says they heard someone slashing tires outside of the shop on Friday night and both he and Robinson chased them around the corner to NW 45th Street.

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    “By the time we caught up to them and able to confront them, the guy turned around and was able to land a blow that was potentially fatal,” recounted Brann.

    Robinson was stabbed in the chest. His lung was punctured and he had to be rushed into emergency surgery.

    “He’s really tough and fighting through it,” Witteman said.

    Robinson is married with two young daughters and now facing medical bills that are piling up while he's unable to work.

    “It's our turn now to help Johnny,” Witteman added

    He took both Witteman and Brann under his wing to teach them the art of tattoo. Now, they're trying to help him by raising money through a GoFundMe page and stepping up to make sure the shop stays open while he recovers.

    But as they focus on his healing, they also hope Robinson's heroism sends a message to the rest of the community.

    “Hopefully it's not all in vain,” Brann said. “Hopefully it will put a spotlight to show things like this can’t go on. It's not something we want in the neighborhood.”

    Seattle police say the suspects were described as two white males, between ages of 26 to 30, one 5 feet, 10 inches, medium build wearing a brown jacket and jeans and the other 6 feet, medium build, wearing a jean jacket and jeans.

    Both Witteman and Brann say they would ultimately like to see some accountability but right now they're focused on Robinson's healing.

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