Seattle Firefighters Charged with Beating Homeless Men

The off-duty firefighters also attacked by-standers who tried to intervene


Two Seattle firefighters under investigation in the alleged beating of a homeless man in Pioneer Square on Saturday evening have been identified as Scott Bullene and Robert Howell.

Bullene, 45, was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center after he was stabbed during the beating incident. His injury is not life-threatening, said Fire Department Lt. Sue Stangl.

Bullene works at Station 5 on the Seattle waterfront and joined the department in 1999, Stangl said. His last shift was on March 13.

Stangl said that as of Saturday night, Bullene was in stable condition. The hospital on Sunday declined to give an update on his condition.

The homeless man refused treatment.

Howell, 46, joined the Fire Department in 1997. Stangl said his last shift was on Jan. 9. He has been on disability since then, but the details of the disability were not released.

Howell's LinkedIn profile says he is a former U.S. Army squad leader and that he attended Central Washington University.

The veteran firefighters were off duty when they and a woman accompanying them became involved in a tussle Saturday evening at the Seattle FallenFirefighters Memorial in Occidental Park.

The woman has not been identified.

According to Seattle police, the woman began yelling at the homeless man who was sleeping on the memorial and then kicked him. One of thefirefighters hit the homeless man with a stick and the other firefighter joined in. Police said it appeared that the firefighters and the woman were intoxicated.

In an apparent attempt to ward off his attackers, the homeless man got up and stabbed Bullene. Police and paramedics were called. Bullene was taken to the hospital, and Howell and the woman were arrested.

The police said they were booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault.

Bullene was not arrested because of his injuries, but he also faces assault charges, police said.

The Fire Department hasn't received formal notification of the Saturday-night incident and has not taken any action regarding the two firefighters, Stangl said.

angel Gonzalez: 206-464-2250 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com. On Twitter: @gonzalezseattle

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