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September 9, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Knife-wielding man who confronted police in U District charged

A 23-year-old man who led police on a “slow speed” pursuit through the University District while armed with two knives last week was charged Tuesday with assault on a police officer, according to King County prosecutors.

Prosecutors say the man, Joshua Ryan Cannon, was armed with two butcher knives and was “acting aggressively” when officers arrived in the 5800 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast in response to a 911 call on Thursday.

Cannon, who identified himself as homeless, was walking down the street, striking utility poles and street signs with the knives, prosecutors allege. He refused to comply with officers’ commands to drop the knives and continued to walk and threaten police despite being doused with pepper spray, according to documents filed on Tuesday charging him with third-degree assault.

While in the 4100 block of 11th Avenue Northeast, Cannon turned to the officers following him and took a “fighting stance,” brandishing a knife in each hand, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors allege that Cannon slashed and stabbed at the air, said he would attack any officer who approached him and told a police hostage negotiator he wanted police to kill him.

“I can’t do it myself; you guys are going to have to do it for me,” Cannon is alleged to have told the negotiator.

When Cannon leaped onto a ledge while continuing to make threats, an officer fired a Taser dart twice at Cannon, prosecutors said. Although Cannon reacted to the Taser, he was able to cut the wires that connect the darts to the gun and then took a “sudden deliberate step” toward the negotiator, prosecutors say. The negotiator “feared for her life and the lives and safety of the officers near” her and fired a gunshot at Cannon, prosecutors said.

The shot missed Cannon and hit a nearby building, according to prosecutors.

Still armed with one knife, Cannon fled from the alley and ran to an underground garage, jumped 12 feet down the wall and raced through the garage and into another alley, where he tried to hide behind a large trash bin, prosecutors said. Prosecutors allege he told police he did not want to go to jail or a mental hospital

Cannon eventually came out, threw the knife down and was taken into custody, prosecutors said.

Before he was taken away, Cannon allegedly asked an officer to tell the negotiator he “was sorry.”

Cannon, who is reported to have no previous criminal history, is being held on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 23. If convicted as charged, he faces a standard sentence range of one to three months.


Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Officer-involved shooting, Seattle Police Department, University District


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