A prolific offender known to randomly attack people in the Seattle, WA area has been arrested again for allegedly throwing coffee on a baby in a stroller downtown just two days after he was released from jail.
The attack happened Saturday near Seattle’s Westlake Park, police said. The suspect was identified as 55-year-old Francisco Calderon, a homeless man. Calderon entered multiple businesses along the 500 block of Pine Street, causing several disturbances and trying to start fights. He’s done this before.
Witnesses told police that Calderon grabbed a cup of coffee from a random passer-by before randomly throwing coffee in a baby’s face. The child’s father then knocked Calderon to the ground to protect his son until police arrived. He was arrested for assaulting a child.
This isn’t Calderon’s first run-in with law enforcement. He is on a list of 100 repeat offenders in Seattle. It shows that many of the people listed went to jail 10 or more times in the past year, some accruing more than 50 criminal cases over the past several years.
Calderon has more than 70 convictions, including 14 assaults. This latest arrest comes just two days after being released from jail. He served about eight months of a year-long sentence for randomly punching a man on Capitol Hill in November.
The only reason Calderon served that much time behind bars was that Municipal Court Judge Ed McKenna went against the plea agreement from the Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and Calderon’s public defender. The agreement would have sentenced Calderon to 30 days in jail and a treatment program. He would have been put on probation and required to seek mental health and substance abuse counseling.
Instead, McKenna gave Calderon one year in jail – the maximum sentence McKenna is allowed to hand down in his court. Both Holmes and Anita Khandelwal, King County’s director of public defense, penned a letter to McKenna asking him to “step aside” as presiding judge:
“The City Attorney and the Public Defender are adversaries in the courtroom and disagree on many matters of criminal justice policy; rarely do we stand together on issues. We do so today because of our shared concern that you are disregarding your duty to act with impartiality and integrity. Recent political turmoil about Seattle’s criminal legal system calls for strict adherence to the judicial tenet of impartiality, rather than self-aggrandizing disregard of it. Those appearing before you deserve nothing less.”
In response to the city and county leaders, McKenna released his own statement saying he is “declining your suggestion” to step aside:
“I was elected to this position by my peers and enjoy continued support from the bench. The court, as the judicial branch of City government, is a separate branch and independently elected and should act free of outside influence. An independent, fair and impartial judiciary is imperative to preserving principles of justice and rule of law.”