Rapist charged in near-fatal stabbing aboard Seattle Metro bus

SEATTLE -- A mentally unstable man with a history of violence has been charged with the apparently random stabbing two men on a Seattle bus.

King County prosecutors contend Douglas F. Carter stabbed both men after a random encounter on Metro bus traveling on Beacon Hill. One of the men remained hospitalized in critical condition days after the stabbing.

Charging Carter with first-degree assault, prosecutors claim the convicted rapist attacked another passenger without any provocation. Carter, 46, is alleged to have then the second man when he rushed to help the first victim.

Prosecutors note Carter has a history of violence and was previously convicted in a vicious attack inside a state mental hospital.

"The defendant has a history of mental instability and violent acts that make him an extreme danger to the community," Senior Deputy Prosecutor Alexandra Voorhees said in court papers.

At 8:20 p.m. on April 7, the alleged victims boarded the Route 36 bus together after it stopped at Beacon Avenue South and South Graham Street. One man turned back to swipe his bus pass after it failed to register and was confronted by Carter.

Carter charged the man without provocation, stabbing him several times in the chest, neck and head, a Seattle detective told the court. The man's friend then attempted to hold back Carter, who is alleged to have stabbed the second man in the back and shoulder.

The men were able to escape from the bus, as were the other 10 to 15 passengers and the driver, who locked Carter aboard. Police arrived and arrested him without incident.

Both men were taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. The initial victim sustained life-threatening injuries, while the second man was expected to recover.

Police recovered a bloody 4-inch knife from the bus, as well as a can of pepper spray from Carter's person, according to charging documents.

Writing the court, the detective said Carter claimed the other men had harassed him. He then became agitated, the detective continued, and threatened to kill and rape one of the detectives interviewing him.

Carter was previously convicted assault after beating a nurse with a metal chair while institutionalized at Western State Hospital, a state-run mental hospital. In that case, Carter beat the woman so badly she suffered a seizure.

Court papers indicate Carter was previously convicted of biting a police officer and choking another psychiatric nurse. He's also a registered sex offender, convicted of child rape in 1991, and has been convicted of misdemeanor assault on four occasions.

Carter has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault. He remains jailed on $500,000 bail.