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.