King Co. deputy injured in assault, saved by witnesses
A 23-year-old man has been charged with assault after a King County deputy who tried to arrest him was injured during a tussle at a Burien Denny's.
Ultimately, deputies learned that Shomari Anderson had a warrant for his arrest at the time of the alleged attack.
The involved deputy, 27-year-old Benjamin Blakeman, was working on patrol early the morning of Sept. 30 and drove through the Denny's parking lot in the 14800 block of First Avenue South about 3:17 a.m. when a man flagged him down, the incident report says.
The man told Blakeman that while he was inside the restaurant, he saw two men trying to break into vehicles in the parking lot, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.
Blakeman drove behind the vehicles to check out the claim and found two men matching the witness' description, court records indicate. A third man reportedly emerged from behind a Dumpster. When Blakeman asked the men what they were doing, one allegedly said they were just looking into a car window.
Blakeman asked another man for his identification. He said he didn't have any, but gave a name. Blakeman checked the name, which turned out to be an alias for Anderson, according to the records, reports say.
Believing that Anderson lied about his identity, Blakeman grabbed Anderson's right arm and told him to put his hands behind his back, but Anderson allegedly tried to run away. Gripping Anderson's arm, the deputy reportedly ordered him to stop and get on the ground, but Anderson then responded with a curse word and continued to pull away, according to the incident report.
Blakeman wrote in a statement that he grabbed the man's dreadlocks and tried to pull him to the ground, but Anderson then allegedly wrapped his arms around the deputy's legs and forced him backward until he fell. Blakeman fell back into a metal handle protruding from the side of a Dumpster, hitting the small of his back and triggering "tremendous pain ... down through my legs to my toes," he wrote.
Unable to use his legs to stand up, Blackman was seated on the pavement against the Dumpster as Anderson allegedly punched him in the head and chest, reports indicate.
"At that point I feared that I had suffered a debilitating back/spinal injury as I could not get up and I feared that the male was going to seriously harm or kill me," Blackman wrote.
Blackman then drew his gun and pointed it at Anderson's chest, saying, "Stop or you are going to get shot," he claimed. Anderson continued to swing at him, hitting Blackman's right arm, which he used to block the punches, court records say.
Blackman started to position his firearm to shoot when Anderson was lifted away from him by two other men, according to the incident report. One of them helped Blackman to his feet while the other held Anderson against a wall. The deputy struck Anderson below the chin with a knee to gain control of him and knelt on top of him as he handcuffed him, he claimed.
The men who removed Anderson from the deputy reported they were seated in a vehicle in the Denny's parking lot when they saw the fight and decided to help when they saw Blackman fall.
Medics took Blackman, whose pain was growing worse, to Harborview Medical Center.
Other responding officers determined Anderson had a felony warrant for his arrest and took him to the King County Jail in Kent. Authorities recovered three small bags of what they suspected to be methamphetamine from his pockets.
Blackman wrote that he suffered "significant muscular/soft tissue damage."
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cindi West reported that Blackman was off duty last week due to his injuries, but was set to return to duty Wednesday night.
"He still has some pain and discomfort but he will be OK," she wrote.
Anderson was charged with second-degree assault and drug possession.
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