Video captures bizarre torch attack on Seattle cop; neighbors blame homeless encampment

News & Politics

A Seattle police officer was injured when he was allegedly attacked by a man with a piece of flaming lumber and residents of the neighborhood say a homeless encampment is to blame.

The startling incident unfolded on Thursday near Deny Park in Seattle, Washington, at a homeless encampment.

Witnesses told KOMO-TV that they saw a man yelling racial slurs at the park and waving around a piece of lumber on fire.

Police on Thursday released video of the incident.

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The video shows the police officer arriving and telling the man, who is carrying the torch, to stop. The man yells, “f**k you!” and charges at the police cruiser with the torch.

He shoves the flaming torch into the cruiser as the officer fires at him several times. The man runs away as the officer calls for backup.

Here’s the video from Seattle PD:

Later video showed that the cruiser was completely destroyed by the flames from the torch. A suspect was later arrested and identified as 37-year-old Brian Joseph Leil.

Leil was charged with first and second-degree assault and held under $500,000 bail.

The officer was hospitalized with non-life-threatening burns to his hands and legs from the incident.

Residents of the neighborhood told KOMO that they have been demanding for the city to do something about the homeless encampment in the park near the site of the incident.

“I’m getting tired of all the garbage happening, truthfully, because that park is dangerous,” said Ken Wright who lives near the park.

“Hopefully the mayor will jump on it, and do something about it, you know because it can’t remain, they can’t remain there,” said Melanie Westbrook, who also lives nearby.

Another KOMO report said that frustrated parents were angry at finding needles, glass and tents at the park and wanted city officials to do something about the problem.

Here’s more about the shocking incident:

Seattle officer burned after suspect threw burning wood into police cruiser

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