Police Investigating Day Laborer Extortion Scheme Following North Seattle Stabbing

Seattle police are investigating a group of men for drug dealing and extorting day laborers outside of hardware stores from South Everett to South Seattle, following a stabbing on Aurora earlier this month.

A day laborer stabbed in front of the Home Depot on 116th and Aurora on June 17th told police from his hospital bed that a group of men “regularly engage in extorting money from the day laborers” looking for work outside of the store.

According to police records, a group of three men approached the victim after arrived back at the Home Depot on Aurora at around 8:00, after finishing another job.

The men asked the victim for money to buy beer, but the man refused because he “knew that the ‘loan’…was a way to extort money from the day laborers.”

According to a police report, “most of the laborers pay the suspect money, and those that don’t are assaulted.”

The report also notes that “most of the victims do not call for police because of their limited English speaking abilities and U.S. residency status.”

When the victim refused to give the men beer money, the suspect punched him in the eye.

The victim bled all over his shirt, and the suspect then instructed the man to go change his clothes.

A Home Depot security employee witnessed the assault and called police, but the three suspects left the area in a grey Ford Mustang convertible before officers arrived.

Later that day, the suspect returned to where the day laborers were gathered on Aurora, walked up to the victim, and stabbed him in the stomach, chest, and knee with an eight-inch double-edged knife.

The suspect’s companions apparently also attacked several men who tried to intervene.

The suspects again fled the scene before police arrived.

According to a second report for the stabbing, another man injured in the melee gave police the name of the suspect but refused to provide officers with more information, telling them “it’s the streets, that’s just how it is.”

The victim was taken to Harborview where, the report says, he “had major surgery to re-attach his intestines and close wounds to his lower back and leg.”

When officers interviewed the victim at the hospital a day after the attack, he indicated the suspects may also involved be in extortion and drug dealing outside of home and garden stores stretching from south Everett to South Seattle.

SPD’s homicide unit—which handles serious assaults—is investigating the case.