- 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.

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


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