A woman who appeared high and in crisis has been charged in the knife attack last week on a Capitol Hill apartment building security guard that took place during a late night protest outside the concrete wall of the nearby East Precinct.
Ernanda Bendtsen, 32, has been charged with first degree assault in the slashing that sent the guard to Harborview with non-life threatening injuries. CHS reported here on the early details on the Tuesday night assault at the 12th Ave Arts building.
According to prosecutors and police, though Bendtsen made a reference to Black Lives Matter during her arrest and initially engaged with the security guard victim because she thought he was a cop, she was not part of the protest as the demonstrators threw trash over the precinct fence.
Prosecutors say Bendsten has been living on the streets, traveling the West Coast, and performing music as “The White Crows” with her boyfriend before he was arrested and charged early last month for a deadly July arson fire at the Hillside Motel on Seattle’s Aurora.
Police say they began looking into Bendsten in the investigation of the deadly fire. The SPD report says her social media showed signs of crisis including videos about “child molesters” and “flashing knives” and also included videos from the night of the assault.
According to the SPD report on the knife attack, the victim told police he wearing a bulletproof vest marked “OFFICER” and making a “perimeter check” of the 12th Ave Arts building during the demonstration when Bendsten got out of her SUV and began yelling that he was a “child molester.” A witness said Bendsten was armed with a Nerf gun.
Police say security video then shows the guard pull out pepper spray and apparently douse Bendsten. “I got something for you,” Bendsten reportedly said following the pepper spray before returning with a machete. The security guard and the witness “both quickly tried to find refuge inside the apartment building,” police write. As Bendsten tried to enter the lobby, she allegedly slashed the guard and fled the scene, driving her car to the nearby Shell station at Broadway and Pike where she was found stripping off her clothes, yelling to herself, and acting like she was on drugs or experiencing a mental crisis.
“I am the white crow, I don’t like child molesters, and I support Black Lives Matter,” she reportedly told police during her arrest.
The guard was initially treated for his injuries by protest medics before police and Seattle Fire arrived and he was taken to the hospital.
In requesting bail on the suspect, prosecutors said Bendsten has “arrest history” in Ohio, Florida, California, and Washington, including “taking a vehicle without consent” in California, and a misdemeanor malicious mischief charge in Bremerton. They also noted, on social media, she has a “moderately large” fan base from her time as a personal trainer and a performer “that has the ability to directly donate money to her.”
She remains jailed in King County on $450,000 bail and is slated to enter a plea on the charge later this month.
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