- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - A jury has acquitted two firefighters and a woman who were charged with a hate crime in an assault on homeless men in Seattle last March.

The Seattle Times reports (https://is.gd/qbA7m4 ) that the Municipal Court jury deliberated for about two hours before reaching the verdict Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the defendants - 47-year-old Robert Howell, 46-year-old Scott Bullene and Bullene’s girlfriend, 38-year-old Mia Jarvinen - were angry when they saw people lying on the Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Pioneer Square.

They said Howell attacked one of the men, Jarvinen kicked another and Bullene wrestled a walking stick away from a 54-year-old man and started beating him.

But Jarvinen testified that they told a man who was urinating on the memorial that it was disrespectful, and that several people then approached them in a threatening manner.

Attorneys for the firefighters said the men had spent their careers caring for others, including the homeless.

Howell and Bullene were terminated from the fire department in August.


Information from: The Seattle Times, https://www.seattletimes.com

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