Arraignment in Safeway Knife Threat Case

On Monday, there was an arraignment for a defendant accused of pulling a knife on a Safeway store employee who tried to stop him from stealing Mike’s Hard Cider and single beers from the store in Seattle’s lower Queen Anne neighborhood. When confronted by store security, the defendant allegedly said “come near me and I’ll f***ing stab you.”

Photo from the encounter.

There has been some confusion around the roles of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the separate Seattle City Attorney’s Office. The overwhelming majority of shoplifting cases do not come to our office — they are referred to the Seattle City Attorney’s office — because state law designates shoplifting of relatively low-value items as misdemeanor crimes.

However, when shoplifting involves a clear threat to kill and a weapon, that escalates the crime to the felony level and those cases come to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. We consistently file those cases, and this second-degree robbery charge from the Safeway confrontation is an example.

This is the first case involving this individual that has been referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

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