• Police: Woman attacked with pitchfork in Ballard by man released from jail 4 days earlier

    By: Amy Clancy

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - KIRO 7 has uncovered details of a frightening attack in Ballard on August 5th.

    According to documents filed in King County Superior Court, a woman who had just visited the Post Office on 17th Avenue Northwest in Ballard was attacked by a man armed with a pitchfork. 

    Daniel Aaron Kuchta, 28, is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly trying to stab the woman with the pitchfork.

    According to the Seattle Police Department incident report, Kuchta tried stabbing the woman in the leg with the pitchfork as she sat in her car. 

    The woman reportedly used her purse as a shield to protect her leg but "Kuchta stabbed the purse several times,” according to court documents. Police said Kuchta then switched and attempted to stab the woman "in her chest and neck."

    The woman yelled out "Help!  He's trying to kill me!"

    A witness and several construction workers in the area chased after Kuchta and were able to hold him down until police arrived to arrest him.

    "I heard the screaming for help and just the tone of it, the volume of it, you could tell this was something pretty serious," construction worker Kris Weller told KIRO 7.

    According to investigation documents, "Kuchta appeared high on narcotics" and "admitted he had just injected meth before the assault."

    "The look in his eyes, you could tell he was on something," Weller said.

    Kuchta's criminal history includes a 2009 attempted murder charge in Oregon when he was a juvenile. 

    His current address listed in the SPD incident report is a homeless shelter in Pioneer Square. 

    Earlier this year in Tacoma Municipal Court, Kuchta was charged with two misdemeanor assaults and obstruction of a public servant in May 2019.  Kuchta was released on his own recognizance. When he failed to appear at his next court hearing, a warrant was issued for his arrest. 

    In July, Kuchta was arrested on a bench warrant and entered pleas of guilty to one count of fourth-degree assault on August 1.  

    Kuchta was given a 364-day suspended sentence and released from the Pierce County Jail on the same date, according to his most recently charging documents.

    Four days later, Kuchta allegedly attacked the woman in Ballard with the pitchfork.

    Kuchta has been in the King County Jail since his arrest on August 5th.  His bail was originally set at $75,000 but was raised to $150,000 because of "the alarming acts of random violence displayed by the defendant in this case and the defendant's history of violence," according to court documents. 

    KIRO 7 obtained surveillance video of the incident. Watch it below.

    KIRO 7 Reporter Graham Johnson contributed to this report. 


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