‘You don’t hit girls’: UW student stabbed while protecting women during parking spot dispute

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SEATTLE — A fight over a parking spot near the UW campus almost cost a 19-year-old student his life.

Graham Harper was stabbed and slashed while trying to protect two women. Now he hopes that his experience sends an important message.

“You don’t hit girls,” said Harper.

Flowers, cards and balloons line Harper’s hallway. Family, friends and strangers offered him well-wishes.

Harper was stabbed  six times and now 70 staples close the wounds

“I look like Frankenstein all over my body, held together with staples,” he said.

It all happened at NE 55th Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue NE in late January when Harper said a stranger punched two women.

“I didn’t really think that guys really hit girls that much until this thing happened,” he said.

Harper said after he stepped between the attacker and a woman, the assailant pulled a knife and slashed him.

He was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he spent a week in recovery.

Police said the suspect ran but they caught up to him at his apartment less than a mile away and arrested him.

The 21-year-old suspect is out of jail on $35,000 bail. People who answered the door said the suspect no longer lives at the address.

Harper said he holds no ill will toward his attacker. He also said he would do everything all over again if he had to – because he believes there’s never a reason to assault a woman.

“At least to me he’s a coward,” he said. “The fact that he would even do this puts him in a different echelon of people in general. Kind of like the same reason you don’t get mad at an animal who bites you out of fear.”

The suspect is scheduled for arraignment on February 11.

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24 comments

  • DuhNigreus

    The reason they hide the name of the violent criminal is because that would underscore the fact that there exists an epidemic of black-on-White violent crime in America and around the world

    • Cailley

      You are a racist moron. So sad that there are so many ignorant people like you left on this planet. By the way the “criminal” since this isn’t even the entire story, is of Asian decent. YOU need to get your facts straight as your comment is completely inaccurate as well as false.

  • BeKindToOthers

    Everyone should get the full story before assuming. The “suspect” was getting beat up because this “hero” thought he was attacking the girls, when in REALITY he NEVER touched the girls. He was defending himself and trying to get about from the situation. If you are getting beat up, you don’t just lay there until the cops come. It’s unfortunately that this situation has come to this but please don’t assume anything until you have facts. This story has been turned and twisted like most other news story.

      • truestorybro

        I know the “suspect” personally, and he only fights in self-defense. He carries a knife for that sole purpose when he goes out late at night. U District is a sketchy place at night, I’m pretty sure you can vouch for this, UWGAL. He was confronting the girls at the party, who are his neighbors, about how poorly they park back at their own house (not just a random parking spot like it sounds). From what I hear from Harper’s buddies in his frat, Harper isn’t exactly an angel. Harper is known to be aggressive and has been in fights at parties before. Harper was underage (he’s 19) at a house party that had alcohol right before all this went down (and I’m pretty sure that this frat star was indeed drinking. Don’t believe me? Name me a frat star who doesn’t drink, and very carefully, I will tell you why that person is not a frat star.) I heard Harper’s in the National Guard, so even if Harper was right to attack, he’s still in deep trouble for underage drinking. If the suspect did indeed hit the girls, I firmly believe that it must have been done in self-defense. A human has every right to hit back if he/she feels threatened or is attacked, regardless of the gender of the assailant (if you believe otherwise, sterilize yourself so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world). Still, the public does not know all the technical details, so everyone should NOT be spreading this story until the case is resolved. However, what I’ve been told supports what BEKINDTOOTHERS is saying, and knowing the character of both individuals, I really do believe this side of the story: Harper wrongly intervened without knowing the necessary background details, attacked the suspect and pursued him, who was forced to eventually draw out his knife, but not immediately like this article says. Honestly, people, do you really believe that someone would ever want to fight against 2 girls and this 300 pound man simultaneously? Even when armed with a knife, the odds are against you. Harper is right about one thing: you really shouldn’t get mad at someone who returns all blows out of fear.

      • Johnny Wang

        so you saw what happened? did you testify in court because i heard your face punching Asian suspect was acquitted. that’s quite surprising when you witnessed this crime

  • Terry Hill

    Thank you for stepping up. My daughter went to UW and I worried for four years about her and that area. Now she is doing her Grad School at SU but lives next to the campus. I had always hoped there was still young men with courage and honor who would help her. As a military vet I would like to say thank you and a hand salute young man. God bless you. You really are a hero.

  • TRUESTORYBRO

    For anyone who stumbles upon this article once more, the man who used a knife in self-defense was confirmed to be NOT GUILTY after a lengthy trial. Plot twist: the then-underaged drinking National Guardsman “hero” and those two “innocent, hapless yet intoxicated” girls (also underaged then) were indeed the perpetrators and villains on that fateful day. Luckily for Harper, he was medically discharged before the truth came out. Luckily for us, that’s one less idiot to bring shame upon the uniform. Unfortunately for us, you can’t fix stupid (Harper/the girls/anyone who actually believed these people).

  • Aaron P

    Congrats Seattle. According to multiple witnesses, the 21-year-old was initially attacked by a group of women (not the other way around), and Harper lived up to the stereotype of the drunk frat boy when he chased down Jared Ha and assaulted him as Ha WALKED AWAY. The jury acquitted Ha and UW also agreed that Ha acted in self-defense. Calling a POS a hero. That’s some fine journalism.

  • J in Seattle

    This has been an interesting story to follow, the aftermath of which seems to have received scant coverage compared to the initial reports. Others have commented on the more recent developments, as well, so here is a comprehensive summary of new findings, according to the Seattle Times:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/ha-hearing/

    -the person whom Harper attacked had critical details of his story corroborated by independent witnesses; specifically, that he was not the instigator of the original fight, that one of the women attacked him first, and that it was actually Harper who escalated the confrontation

    -that the same student was acquitted of all charges, and (in an unusual step) was even granted reimbursement of legal defense charges because he was found to have acted in self-defense against Harper

    -that Harper was under legal drinking age at the time and had a blood alcohol level 6 times the legal limit for those under 21

    Just putting that out there for those who may stumble across this article in the future. Harper used the term “coward” to describe the individual, which seems unfair and inaccurate based on these more recent revelations…