Homeless criminal from Pennsylvania charged with stabbing "complete stranger" in Seattle

SEATTLE — The brutal attack near Seattle's Pioneer Square was caught on surveillance video, obtained by KIRO 7 Wednesday.

The images show a stranger, standing on the sidewalk, apparently targeted for no reason by a man armed with a 6-inch knife.

Now, business owners in the area blame the stabbing, and other recent crimes in the area, for driving customers away.

“We used to have these big events, and I’d talk to people and ask, ‘Why are you not coming?’” Cristina Diogurdi told KIRO 7.

“They’re just very scared to come to Pioneer Square.”

According to documents filed in King County Superior Court, 51-year old Anthony B Boatwright attacked a "complete stranger with a 6" steak knife" early Thanksgiving Day.

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The incident happened outside the Union Gospel Mission on 2nd Avenue, although neither Boatwright nor the victim had any ties to the charity, according to a spokeswoman Wednesday.

The Seattle Police Department incident report indicates Boatwright stabbed the other man "in the legs multiple times."  Boatwright has since been charged with Assault in the First Degree, and remains behind bars in lieu of a $750,000 bond.

In late September, Boatwright was also charged in Seattle Municipal Court for Property Destruction.

However, the bulk of his criminal history is from Pennsylvania, where Boatwright has convictions for Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, Cruelty to Animals, Terroristic Threats, Robbery, Burglary, Criminal Conspiracy and more, dating back to 1991, according to court documents.

Documents also reveal that Boatwright arrived in Seattle last August, listed a 3rd Avenue homeless shelter as his address and “it remains unknown what, if any, ties the defendant has to Washington as his 27 years of criminal history is entirely in Pennsylvania.”

The owner of Main Street Gyros, across the street from the location of the stabbing, told KIRO 7 the incident -- and other recent nearby crimes -- have caused his business to decline 50% in the past year alone.

Hamza Albdan blames the City of Seattle for not doing more to combat homelessness.  “This is the city where we give” the homeless “everything,” Albdan told KIRO 7.

“They give them food, they give them money, they give them a place to sleep, everything!”

Albdan also said, “because of all the homeless all over, there’s a lot of criminals around, a lot of shootings, a lot of stabbings.”

Dioguardi – who’s owned a business in Pioneer Square for more than 25 years -- said she has compassion for the homeless who are living on the streets because of mental illness or other hardship, but has no compassion for criminals from out of state, like Boatwright, who are “taking advantage of the homeless situation.”

“When there is chaos in a city, it brings others that take advantage of the situation, and that’s what’s going on in the City of Seattle,” said Dioguardi.