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Police: Bothell teacher was attacked from behind, choked with zip tie

KOMO photo

BOTHELL, Wash. - A wood shop teacher assaulted Thursday at Bothell High School was attacked from behind and choked with a zip tie, police said Friday as they revealed new details of the unprovoked attack.

The teacher, 63-years-old Cal Pygott, was assaulted just after 4:15 p.m., according to police. The teacher was then taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. He has since been released.

Sgt. Ken Seuberlich of the Bothell police said Friday that the teacher was struck in the back of the head with a blunt object. The attacker then tightened a zip tie around the teacher's neck before fleeing the scene.

The teacher lost consciousness before another teacher happened to pass by and saw him lying there. That teacher then removed the zip tie from the assaulted teacher's neck and called 911.

"I'm not sure how she was able to remove it, but she did an amazing job of helping the teacher and calling 911," Seuberlich said.

Officers who responded to the attack searched the campus but did not find the suspect or any more victims. A search by a K-9 police dog was also unsuccessful.

Seuberlich called the attack a "highly unusual event."

He said investigators have not yet identified the attacker. They are trying to determine if the suspect was captured on any campus security cameras.

"We are hopeful that video will be found," he said.

Seuberlich would not speculate whether the attacker was a student, staff member or a stranger.

"I don't want to speculate about the type of person who would do that," he said.

He had not heard of any previous threats against the teacher.

Bothell High School was placed on lockdown for about 2 1/2 hours after the assault, and classes were canceled for Friday as investigators continue to probe the crime scene.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Bothell police tip line at 425-487-5551.

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