The King County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 33-year-old man for assaulting a priest on Saturday afternoon.
Police say the suspect could be charged with felony assault.
Russian Orthodox priest Abbot Tryphon was suddenly attacked on Tuesday morning while gassing up at the Mobil Station on Southwest 148th Street in Burien.
“I have never been hit as hard,” the Russian Orthodox priest said. The man “zeroed in on my cross, because when he started coming my direction, he had this look of anger.”
The 72-year-old leader of the Vashon monks said the man who struck him first asked, “How’s Trump?” When Abbot Tryphon answered, “I have no idea, that’s when he hit me.”
“I think he saw me as a conservative Christian, which I am, and I think he, for whatever reason, whether it’s political or psychological in nature, the man reacted.”
Abbot Tryphon added, “I’m not a political person. People don’t know my political persuasion or how I vote.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the King County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video recorded at the gas station, hoping that someone could help identify the man.
In the video, it is difficult to see what happened on the other side of the priest’s van. However, multiple people witnessed the assault and called 911, according to Sgt. Ryan Abbott.
“You can see him swing and the priest went down to the ground,” Abbott said. “He was wearing all of his priest gear, including a cross.”
The 33-year-old man was eventually caught and arrested after attacking another random stranger.
His name has not yet been released.
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