‘I’m tired, it hurts … I’m upset’: Victim of vicious machete, chain attack recounts assault

SEATTLE -- Two men in jail are facing felony charges after the King County Sheriff’s Office says they used a machete and a chain to attack a transient man in Burien Wednesday night.

The two suspects -- Timothy Whitmer and Ivan Schoolcraft -- are currently facing assault investigation charges, but deputies say they’ll likely add more.

Sitting in his hospital bed at Seattle's Harbor Medical Center on Thursday, victim Ryan O’Dell still can’t stand or walk due to his injuries.

“Physically I’m tired and it hurts. Emotionally, I’m upset,” said O’Dell.

The sheriff’s office says two intoxicated men came out of the Burger Broiler restaurant on SW 148th Street in Burien and approached Ryan’s friend Arnie Stevens, who was walking his bicycle and cart containing his belongings down the sidewalk. Deputies say they mistook Arnie for a different homeless man.

“These two guys come across with smiles and laughter, just trying to rip his stuff apart and throw it in the street,” O’Dell said.

O'Dell's fiancé, Talitha Holman, stepped up to try to protect Arnie’s dog, Forehead, who was in the cart.

“Hey, you know there’s a dog in there and be careful, you know?” Talitha said she told the intoxicated men.

When the two men turned their attention to Talitha, O'Dell says he punched one of the attackers to protect her.

“Next thing I know, I’m getting hit with a machete and a chain and they just kept hitting me, kept hitting me, kept hitting me,” said O’Dell.

“The way they were beating on him, it was like he would be missing limbs or something. It looked that bad,” Talitha said.

Arnie was able to distract them men while they were beating O’Dell.  That’s when Arnie and Talitha say the men chased them into the Burger Broiler restaurant.  O’Dell ran across five lanes of traffic and then collapsed before police and the ambulance arrived.

“I got several deep lacerations, I had to have surgery on my knee and left elbow," O'Dell said from his hospital bed. "The triceps is actually severed in half and there’s not much they can do to fix that,."

Ryan was slashed and bashed all over his body.

“I didn’t think he was going to live. I didn’t know,” Talitha said.

This was a vicious attack, but not the first time O'Dell says he and other transients have been attacked in Burien.

“Kick them, throw buckets of water or urine on them or cut up their sleeping bags. It’s really bad,” said O’Dell.

He wants Burien city leaders to do more to protect the average citizen and transients from violent attacks.  He hopes this incident is a wake-up call to city and county leaders.  But for now, he just wants the men responsible for these injuries to face the consequences.

“They were drunk and belligerent and they came out with the intention to be bullies and do harm,” said O’Dell.

O’Dell was discharged from Harborview Medical Center later Thursday. Because of his injuries, he can’t work.  So his girlfriend set up a GoFundMe account to try to raise money for his medical costs. They’re also looking for a clean, safe place for him to stay while he recovers.