Tip leads to arrest of metro assault suspect previously convicted of murder

SEATTLE — Editor’s note: The video above aired before Richard Nesbit was arrested on Tuesday.

UPDATE: KIRO 7′s Amy Clancy learned Tuesday that the man who police had identified in a random attack on King County Metro bus is in custody.

Deputies with the King County Sheriff’s Office said they received a tip about Richard Eric Nesbit’s location from a KIRO 7 viewer shortly after the story aired on TV.

The viewer told deputies Nesbit was living on property in Kent, where he was arrested Tuesday.

Nesbit’s arraignment, where he will enter a plea, is expected on Thursday.

Previous coverage:

Passengers may have more than just social distancing to worry about when they take the bus.

A vicious and random attack was caught on-camera, on-board a King County Metro bus.

The suspect has been identified as 47-year-old Richard Eric Nesbit, who was convicted of a 1990 murder.

Nesbit is now charged with suddenly striking an unsuspecting bus rider multiple times with a hammer on March 22, 2020.

And Nesbit is not yet behind bars.

In fact, investigators don’t even know where he.

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In King County Metro surveillance video obtained by KIRO 7, a suspect – identified in King County Sheriff’s documents as Nesbit – can be seen wearing a mask, apparently in an effort to protect against COVID 19.

However, Nesbit does not appear to be concerned about other bus passengers’ safety when, according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Nesbit suddenly attacked another bus rider with a hammer.

Charging documents filed recently in King County Superior Court allege that Nesbit boarded the southbound bus near Valley Medical Center in Renton with his dog, then -- without warning -- struck the sleeping passenger seated in front of him with the blunt end of a hammer, landing at least two strikes to the other man's head before the stranger could defend himself.

In the surveillance video, the victim can be heard saying “I don’t even know you man,” during the attack.

Nesbit left the bus and a $150,000 warrant was recently issued for his arrest.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

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Meanwhile, KIRO 7 has learned that Nesbit received a 26-year prison sentence for murder -- shooting a man twice in the chest with a shotgun -- when the suspect was only 17-years old.

Because of his violent criminal history, Nesbit is considered a danger to the community.

Nesbit “has acted extremely violently by killing somebody,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office told KIRO 7 Monday while talking about Nesbit’s past. “And here we are, years later, with an unprovoked attack on an innocent victim.

It is concerning for law enforcement and this is somebody we want to get off the street and behind bars as quickly as possible.”

Because the victim also fled the scene, he has not been identified. However, detectives would like to interview him and hope that he comes forward.