Cal Anderson stabbing victim — ‘I like that park but it’s not the first time I’ve been threatened there’

UPDATE: A "healing help" fund has been set up to assist in Simieoni's recovery. You can give here

UPDATE: A “healing help” fund has been set up to assist in Simieon’s recovery. You can give here

Sunday night’s stabbing in Cal Anderson has helped rekindle annual concerns about safety in the park.

For Nick Siemion it was an unfortunate brush with violence in a place that he enjoys hanging out in.

“It’s kind of alarming,” Siemion told CHS. “I like that park but it’s not the first time I’ve been threatened there.”

Siemion remained hospitalized Tuesday following the Sunday night attack in which he was stabbed in the stomach in a confrontation with his attacker over a threatening dog.

A King County District Court judge Monday found probable cause to hold the 38-year-old man arrested following the stabbing. The 38-year-old has a criminal record spotted with minor drug and assault arrests and convictions. He is currently held on $175,000 bail. He has not yet been charged.

Siemion says he first encountered the suspect and his dog a few days prior in the park. Siemion, who is homeless and lives in his vehicle but works at a restaurant downtown, said he was hanging out in Cal Anderson when the suspect’s dog approached him and his own dog.

“I was sitting in the park playing guitar with my dog leashed up and I saw his dog roaming around off leash,” Siemion said. He said the dog suddenly attacked but he was able to fend it off.

Sunday, Siemion said a similar situation began to play out as the unleashed pit bull mix began threatening him and his dog as they sat in the park playing music with some of the street kids that hang out there. This time, Siemion said he yelled at the suspect to control the pit bull.

“Dude you’ve got to get that dog on a leash,” Siemion said he told the suspect. “The dogs can’t help it.”

Siemion said that the suspect began screaming at him in the late night incident. Then Siemion say he sent the man into a rage by touching the pit bull.

“I picked up his dog like a mother dog would pick up her pup and toassed him aside,” Siemion said. “I guess that was enough.”

Siemion said the next thing he knew he was stabbed.

“I’m in a lot of pain,” he said. “I was fortunate enough — my cousin was able to get my dog back. And I’m hoping to get my guitar back.”

The 26-year-old tells CHS he is not insured but does have some family in the area. The bills are racking up.

“I try to stick to myself because a lot of these kids as open as they are, a lot of him have their own personal issues,” Siemion says of the community of people camping in and around Cal Anderson short-term and long. It’s mostly a good crowd, he says. But yes, there are also those personal issues.

“I work a full-time job downtown — I was only playing music,” Siemion said.

32 thoughts on “Cal Anderson stabbing victim — ‘I like that park but it’s not the first time I’ve been threatened there’

  1. Hey Nick, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Thanx for taking the time to let people know what happened and I wish you all the best. I’ll be passing the hat around and think everyone able will donate what they can. Feel better soon, and again, I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    [Thanx again to CHS ~ Janet]

    • Thank you for the concern for our community and myself. After traveling for so long, it Makes me feel like I came back home to one of the best citie/states in the country. I grew up in Bothell but am falling in love with the Capitol hill area as people seem so friendly and unique. And thank you Justin for getting in contact with me to continue to update this story and to publish the donation page my sister setup for me. I’ll let y’all know when I finally get out of the harbor view ICU.

  2. Justin: Just a note on behalf of a great many of us to thank you for your tireless efforts to help others by publicizing stories (replete with background of the victim) such as this one and enabling people to help out by contributing. It’s people such as yourself that make Capitol Hill a great place to live. Thanks again.

  3. You can read his full story if ou click on the donate link. I hope he gets better quick! Thanks CHS for following up with this.

  4. I wish people had to pass an IQ test to own a pit bull. In my world, they’re banned from the city or muzzled whenever they’re in public, leashed or not. Sorry this happened to you.

    • I’m pretty sure this unfortunate incident had more to do with the breed of the owner than with the breed of the dog.

    • I agree. Pit bulls are one of the top 3 dogs who bite humans. And, worse, the aggressiveness is often unprovoked, and can result in really extensive injury, even death. It’s simplistic to say it’s because the owners don’t train them. Ban ‘em completely!

  5. Sorry Nick. This park is a mess. Every day, rain or shine, I walk my dog there. Always on leash. Every day dogs are off leash running around. Mine is small and intimated by big, friendly dogs running to it. I’ve seen the pit bull mixes lazing around next to clumps of people paying no attention to them, I’ve often wondered how safe they are. Unfortunately we have our answer. I thought the park closed at night. Yet there are encampments throughout the park. In the mornings you should see how littered this place is. Groups smoking marijuana, empty beer and liquor bottles strewn about. There is NO police presence there that I have ever seen. There is a playground and wading pool. I don’t feel it is safe for children to use those children’s facilities. I’ve talked to park employees. They say their hands are tied. Come on city. One guy has been attacked, do we need more in order to clean this cesspool up? Animal Control needs to patrol this park every day. Impound dogs off leash with no registration. The police need to roust out the campers, arrest those drinking liquor, behaving illegally, and turning tricks in the rest rooms. I hope you achieve a full, speedy recovery, Nick. Maybe you are the sacrifice we needed for police to pay attention to this terrible place called a “public park.” One mile away in Volunteer Park there is no such behavior. Makes me wonder about the political clout in that neighborhood versus Cal Anderson. Mayor McGinn, want reelected? Please fix this park.

    • Mike F., I concur wholeheartedly. Furthermore, I have contacted all of the entities suggested and then some. To wit: The Mayor’s office has responded to my letters (yes, plural) with a standard form letter and I had to laugh because it is has been the exact same letter response twice now; Animal Control is understaffed and cannot patrol Cal Anderson Park or any park for that matter but they can and will respond to specific incidents of vicious animals, most especially if they are running loose or unleashed so, people ought to be aware they can call in such an occurrence and an Animal Control officer will either respond or corroborate your call with the police/911; and lastly, the police department? What can I say? I have, on more than one occasion, physically walked into the East Precinct station in order to report everything from let’s make a dope deal occurring next to kids playing soccer on the field to public drunkenness and aggression. The response? Yes, ma’am, we’ll send an officer over to check that out. So, I’ve hung around the area I’ve reported and while on one occasion, I did notice a patrol car drive by some 20 minutes later, none of the other incidents were ever responded to that I could see by any police officer on foot. Sure, we can continue to write to the Mayor and even incorporate complaints concerning the lack of police response but to what end? Just to have repeated Chiefs of Police retire?

      And I, too, have questioned the difference in atmosphere, cleanliness (i.e., lack of spent syringes on the ground), and general feeling of safety between Cal Anderson Park, a wide-open smaller public area, vs. that of Volunteer Park which is heavily-treed (lots of hiding places) and much larger physically. It’s a totally different world and I HAVE seen numerous police patrol cars driving through Volunteer Park when I have walked through there. I mean, the police at the East Precinct can walk out their front door, look up and across the street towards the bus stop, and visually see the drunks sitting on that brick wall, drinking out of brown paper bags during the day.

      I don’t know what the answer is but matters certainly are not getting better with the present state of affairs.

    • MikeF, you have clearly stated exactly what needs to be done to cleanup Cal Anderson Park. But I’m not optimistic that the various City departments will do anything….it will probably take a homicide to push the SPD to do their job there, if that.

  6. It’s public property and crimes happen semi-regularly. I’m sort of surprised they don’t have some (more?) plainclothes patrols or something.

    If we have any idle cops hanging at the station, they may as well go for a walk :-).

  7. I live on Cal Anderson and I don’t even walk my dog there. We walk to Volunteer Park instead. My dog is very old and has some problems, and my roommates dog walks with us and she protects him….so dogs off leash are a major problem for us.

    The irresponsibility of people with their animals and disrespect for the beauty of our city and people being assaulted is shameful.

    I hope you get better soon man.

  8. P.S. to Nick — I hope you recover soon. Although I am small in stature and am probably on eye-level with the belt buckles of most of the police officers I encounter, I will nonetheless continue to walk into the East Precinct and shake their trees each time I see something threatening or illegal going down in Cal Anderson Park — just in remembrance of you!

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  11. Why is he living in his car and working a job that doesn’t pay for anything?… talking about wasting time… go to a welfare office, apply for housing, food stamps, and other programs. you even can go to school for free with your income level… working in a restaurant when you have no place to live is kinda mental…

    • Thanks for saying what others, including me, were thinking. There is no reason why a fully-employed person (even if it’s for minimum wage) can’t get into a Seattle Housing Authority building, with rent something like $300/month, and have a roof over his head. Just do it, Nick!

      • Ive known Nick for several years, and although he chooses to be his own person, and speak his own voice, I feel that unlike many people where I live in Southern California crutch on the government to provide subsidized services, Nick chooses to be independent of tax payer burden for his daily feedings. I am guessing that Nick has grown up from a good family that provided for him and taught him not to be a welfare leech. It’s true now that he may need it more than ever, and I cannot speak for Nick, but I bet he would stand up straight and proud if he could do without. Heal up Nick!!! –Siz

    • Wow. The insensitivity and lack of an open mind coming from “mike” and Calhoun” is depressing. Being that I’m stuck in bed 23 hours a day, I’ll throw in my two cents.

      1st, I do have food stamps, and that doesn’t go very far.

      2nd, there is no welfare for people like me. I’m a 26 yr old traveling mucisian/freelance digital artist who recently decided to live and work in Seattle while trying to save for my future. I have no kids, and work full time up until the last weeks stabbing. Being conservative, for me to find housing anywhere near my job in Seattle, will cost 450 a month. Add a deposit and that’s nearly a 1000 right off the bat.

      And Im not sure what part of the world you are from, but school is not free in the united states. I was only eligible for financial aid upon turning 24 yrs old. Like many Americans students, FASFA rules state that you do not qualify for financial if your folks make more than poverty level income. And guess what, once I was eligible at 24 for financial aid, ( which caps out at 5,500 a year). They disqualified me after one semester becaused I already had 70 units finished at SBCC.

      And im not sure what ya mean by my Job paying not paying anything….? palomino pays me around 1100 to 1300 a month. If I subtract rent and 300 plus for monthly living expenses, I get confused as to how I can pay off debt and save money if I didn’t live in my truck….

      If those two commenters know of any programs I dont know about, I would love to hear them. But from my experience and research, there isn’t anything available. So it’s quite frustrating to be stuck in the ICU unit at harbor view, loaded on 5 different meds, and to then see people saying I’m “mental” and wasting my time, for working a job and living in my truck In Seattle. Thanks again to everyone else for the prayers and positive energy you’ve sent my way.

      • Nick, I apologize if my comment seemed insensitive. I thought I was just making a good suggestion. Have you looked into getting an apartment with the Seattle Housing Authority? At your income level, you would certainly qualify and you rent would be around $300/month…so you would have plenty left over for paying off debts, etc. Wouldn’t this be better than living out of a vehicle?

        • Your comments weren’t coming across as helpful. They came across as smug and judgemental. To assume that Nick wasn’t doing the best he can after reading a brief article about his life is hubris. If you think lifting yourself out of poverty and homelessness is as easy as spending time waiting in line to go on public assistance (which would lead to somehow going to college for free and somehow having rent paid for) then you’re living in a fantasy world and apparently don’t have enough empathy to consider that other people than yourself are trying to improve their lives the best they can. And to scoff at his job, which pays pretty well, is deplorable.

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  13. I kno the attacker and the dog in question, he spent many a night at my place with my fourteen month old child and two year old cat and never had a problem with him, altho my husband had to check him when he was watching a lil too intently while my son ate, I believe homeless have no business having animals they can’t care for especially taking special care to leash them unless in designated parks I’m ashamed of my friend for what he caused and want to apologize for what happened, you really don’t every kno what’s going on with people you see on the daily, we all have our own drama, best wishes for you hunnie, wishes for a speedy recovery ¡!

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