Victim of alleged hate crime says huge crowd saw, but no one helped

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knifeSEATTLE — While police investigate an alleged knifepoint robbery and hate crime that occurred Thursday, the victim is speaking out, admonishing a crowd of onlookers who he says didn’t come to his aid.

According to, Robbie Turner, a gay man and PrideFest performer, was robbed around 4 p.m. near East Olive Way and Broadway. Though details of the crime from Seattle Police Department weren’t immediately available, Turner took to his Facebook page and described the alleged attack.

According to Turner, he was walking home from work so he could change into drag and attend an event. Turner was on the phone when a man walked up to him and allegedly punched him in the face. Turner dropped the phone but the man allegedly pulled out a knife and swung it at Turner’s throat. Turner was punched again and his belongings were strewn about the street before the man ran off.

Perhaps the most aggravating part about the attack, Turner said, was that it happened around a large crowd of people walking in the sunny Seattle afternoon.

“(The knife) was less than an inch from slicing my throat open in front of a very late crowd on the (SPCC) campus,” Turner said on his Facebook. “No one yelled. No one came to my assistance. Plenty watched.”

Turner claimed a young woman approached him shortly after the attack and said she was scared. He replied he was scared, too.

“What has happened to the chivalrous men and women who won’t let injustice happen to others RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES,” Turner asked on his Facebook page.

No medics were dispatched to the area, Capitol Hill blog reported. called the incident one of many in a disturbing trend of violence against gays.

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  • Packin in Greenlake

    This is a perfect example of why you need to be responsible for your own defense. The police cannot protect you 24×7, bystanders are more likely to film an assault (while yelling "World Star") than they are to intervene.

    Be aware of your surroundings. Take a self defense class. Carry the tools you feel are appropriate and that you are capable of using to protect yourself. Reject the notion that disarming law abiding citizens makes us safer.

    • Kelly T

      "go back in the closet"??? FUCK YOU ASSHOLE! why the fuck say something so hateful? GO BACK IN THE WOMB you insensitive idiot.
      NO, this wasn't a hate crime but your comment was… dick.


    Why does this story give no description of the attacker other than it was a man?? If there were all those witnesses surely some of them could give more details about him.

  • re:anonymous

    What’s so stupid is police helicopters looking for someone who stole a purse with no physical injuries and then a protected class gets hurt and physically assulted and no one does anything. I have a legal term for that: Desperate Impact

  • Tom Frazee

    It's impossible to be safe all the time. We can plan our environments, carry whistles, spray, a weapon, walk with a dog or body guard, etc. We are vulnerable. Carry small amounts of cash. It wasn't that he was gay, that people didn't risk their own safety to come to his aid. Someone should have called the police. It's a jungle and we are either the hunter or the prey. Some people avoid danger/ adventure while others sky dive/push the envelope, test their wits, challenge the unknown, intentionally walk through graveyards at night. To some, being robbed at. Knifepoint and living to tell about it is like earning a merit badge. My dear dead friend, Tio, used to say" It's not the altitude, it's the attitude!"

  • bgrant570

    Why is this a hate crime? So he's gay. Did the perpetrator give any indication that he assaulted the victim because he was gay? From the information given in this article it sounds like a simple robbery. I'm sure it was terrifying for the victim, but I fail to see the "hate crime" aspect of this.

  • Delia

    Has the victim actually checked to see if anyone called 911? You certainly couldn’t expect bystanders to run up to man swinging a knife.

  • Nellie

    What bothers me is that crime is running rampet across our country and not by the supposed terroristst we are taught to hate, but the supposed Christian americans. Most police are paying more attenton to people of color to arrest, and apparently most Americans are too.