A repeat offender in Seattle has been released from jail after allegedly threatening to stab two gay men with a syringe and calling a black female a racial slur.
Francisco Calderon, one of Seattle’s most prolific offenders, was arrested by Seattle Police on March 26. Police responded to a call from a King County Metro bus driver saying that a man was “attempting to stab” two gay men with a syringe in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
The gay men, who are friends, were walking around Broadway Avenue when the man, later identified as Calderon, began shouting at and threatening random passersby, including the two men, whom he thought were a couple.
According to police, Calderon started to follow the men, got physically in between them and pushed them apart, saying they should not be married.
He balled up his hands into fists and said he could knock them out with one punch. They later saw he had an uncapped syringe in his hand.
Police say the gay men crossed the road to avoid him. Calderon followed, but was distracted by a nearby car in the road.
He allegedly attempted to open the door to the car, frightening the driver, who parked her car and ran into a nearby restaurant for safety. While she was running away, Calderon yelled at her, using a racial slur to refer to her.
Police on scene arrested Calderon, and when patting him down, found a small bag of meth in his front sweatshirt pocket. He was booked into jail just before 11 p.m. on March 26, only to be released 14 hours later, at 1 p.m. on March 27.
Though Calderon was originally booked for felonies — which would have ensured he stayed in prison — a Seattle Police Department spokesperson told conservative talk radio host Jason Rantz of KTTH that a detective reviewed the case, and “based on the facts, referred it to the Law Department for misdemeanor charges.”
This comes at a time when the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention has announced it will no longer allow bookings for most misdemeanor charges due to concerns over the potential for COVID-19 to spread in crowded conditions. As a result, those offenders are being released rather than held pending trial.
Calderon has been convicted more than 70 times, including at least 15 times for assault. On one occasion, after spending several months in jail for sucker-punching a passerby, he was released, only to turn around and throw coffee in the face of a toddler.
Calderon’s sister, Ana Calderon Barnett, told local news station Q13FOX in 2019 that her brother has struggled with mental illness from a young age, which was exacerbated by physical abuse as a child and drug use as an adult.
“He hears voices and he talks to those voices, sometimes that will result in violent behavior,” she said.
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