A 38-year-old man was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of another man at a Bellevue Burger King on Sunday
Prosecutors allege in court documents that Steven Padilla walked up and started stabbing Jose Arias, 65, with a 10-inch knife for apparently no reason. Arias, who appeared to be sleeping when he was attacked, died from his injuries.
Padilla ran from the restaurant but was arrested a short time later by Bellevue Police. The defendant, who is being held in jail with bail set at $1 million, is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 3.
According to court documents, the suspect has a criminal history that includes multiple assault convictions. Prosecutors are seeking $1 million bail, saying the man poses a “significant danger to the community.”
Police and medics were called around 3 p.m. to the Burger King in the 14600 block of Northeast 24th Street, where they found the dying victim outside the restaurant.
Three witnesses told police they had seen the victim and the suspect in separate parts of the restaurant just before the stabbing, according to the document of probable cause, which lays out the state’s case against the suspect.
Witnesses said the victim appeared to be sleeping in a booth, court documents say.
The witnesses were sitting down to eat when they noticed the suspect walk out of a restroom, pull a large, fixed-blade knife from his right pocket and walk up behind Arias, police and prosecutors allege.
The suspect “reached over a half-wall that Mr. Arias was leaning against and started stabbing Mr. Arias in the upper torso area,” police allege in the court document.
The suspect then left the restaurant but was found by police a mile and a half away, court documents say. A K-9 unit led police to a nearby office complex, where officers found a large knife matching witness descriptions of the one used in the attack.