UPDATE, JULY 24: Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was asked about the case on Wednesday, July 24. This was her response:
The case was not charged as a felony, but as a misdemeanor in Seattle Municipal Court.
"We learned from the police report that the child, thankfully, did not appear to have been injured in any way and we were told that the child received no medical treatment," said Dan Katzer, a spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. "In other words, the facts of this particular case didn’t support this being a felony."
ORIGINAL TEXT: A repeat criminal with more than 70 arrests and a history of random attacks threw coffee in the face of a 2-year-old boy Saturday in downtown Seattle, police said.
The incident happened less than 48 hours after he was released from jail on another random assault case.
Witnesses said that Francisco Calderon was in the downtown Gap store and other businesses causing disturbances before he pointed at the 2-year-old in a stroller. The boy’s father and a witness forced Calderon out of the store.
Witnesses said Calderon then approached women on the street and mumbled with escalating behavior, yelling, “Not your father!” A woman told police she felt harassed, and her two friends had to intervene.
Calderon then threw coffee on the 2-year-old, police said.
His father, believing his son would be assaulted further, struck Calderon six times and knocked him to the ground. A detective working an off-duty job at nearby Nordstrom detained Calderon until Seattle police arrived.
Police believed the cup contained coffee, but said it was unknown if there was a biohazard component to the assault.
“The victim did not appear to be physically injured or burned, but was not communicative and appeared to be staring off into space, possibly in shock,” according to an incident report.
Calderon was previously given the maximum jail sentence in Seattle Municipal Court for a Capitol Hill assault case – one that raised an issue between City Attorney Pete Holmes and Presiding Seattle Municipal Court Judge Ed McKenna.
In the November assault case, the City Attorney’s Office recommended a plea deal that would let Calderon go with credit for his 50 days served in jail - and court-ordered mental health evaluation, probation and substance abuse treatment.
McKenna rejected the plea deal because of Calderon’s violent history, believing he would reoffend. He sentenced Calderon to 364 days in jail.
The case is still being appealed, but in the meantime Calderon was given credit for good behavior – something routinely done for offenders in King County and Washington based on their time in jail, not their earlier record. That’s why he was released last week.
In a statement Tuesday, Holmes’ office said it tried to address Calderon’s underlying behavior through mental health treatment, which Holmes’ office said Calderon was willing to undergo.
“Tragically but predictably, the defendant apparently reoffended almost immediately upon being released from jail,” the statement read. “We continue to believe public safety would be best served by addressing and resolving the underlying behavior through treatment.”
Calderon has a history of ignoring court orders.
In 2016, Calderon was released to treatment before his sentencing in another assault case and was arrested in the interim for burglary.
After McKenna sentenced Calderon in the Capitol Hill case, Holmes and Department of Public Defense Director Anita Khandelwal said evidence suggested a reporter and community member were at the sentencing because they were invited by McKenna.
McKenna categorically denied their allegations in the Calderon assault case, including that he predetermined Calderon’s jail time before the sentencing.
“May I also remind each of you of your ethical obligations to maintain the integrity of your profession,” McKenna wrote in a response. “Rule 8.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct provides: ‘A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications, integrity or record of a judge.'”
Calderon’s arraignment, at which he’s expected to enter a plea in the coffee case, is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Seattle Municipal Court.
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