Man attacked by protester speaks, suspect pleads not guilty

SEATTLE — A Seattle man who was attacked in his Queen Anne neighborhood on July 30 is telling his story. The victim, who does not want to be identified for fear of retribution, says he was taking pictures of the protesters when they turned on him.

>> Arrest made weeks after man assaulted while confronting protesters outside his Seattle home

It was 11:30 p.m. on July 29 when he was trying to sleep and heard noise outside. He went to check it out and found a group of 90-to-100 protesters who were using megaphones and shining flashlights in windows.

The victim says he was quickly confronted by the group and told to leave. He says they shined flashlights in his face and kept blocking his way as he tried to leave. All of a sudden someone struck him in the head from behind, knocking him to the ground. He had a concussion and needed 4 staples in his head.

On Thursday, Triston Spears, 27, was arraigned on second-degree assault charges for the attack.

Spears pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is the 18th protester to face criminal charges since the end of May.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office made it very clear who they are prosecuting from recent protests.

“The cases we have filed are assault cases, cases involving guns, burglaries of closed businesses, arsons, those are the kinds of cases we’re talking about,” said Casey McNerthney, King County Prosecutor’s Director of Communications. “We see a big distinction between people who are protesting nonviolently and the cases we’ve charged.”

The victim says he saw the difference in types of protesters the night he was attacked.

“I think when they start moving into areas of violence, intimidation, making threats, I think you might want to re-evaluate your association with that group,” the victim told KIRO 7.