Orthodox Monk assaulted at gas station in Burien Tuesday


Print This Post  Email This Post

The King County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Abbot Tryphon (pictured above) – a monk at the All-Merciful Saviour Orthodox Monastery on Vashon Island – was assaulted at a Mobil Gas station in Burien at around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16.

Police say that the Abbot was pumping gas at around 11:30 a.m. at the station at 303 SW 148th Street (located just west of the Transit Center; map below) when an unknown white male approached him and made some type of comment like, “How is Trump?” The victim responded with “how should I know?”, then the suspect punched him once on the side of his face, knocking him to the ground.

The suspect fled the area, but was described as white, 5’10, thin build, in his 30’s and wearing a red or orange shirt.

Aid responded and treated the victim at the scene.

Obviously this is not the kind of welcome one would expect during Holy Week.

“I should be filled with rage against a brute who could perpetrate such an unwarranted attack against me, especially since I’d smiled at him, just prior to the sucker punch,” the Abbot said on his Facebook page Wednesday. “In my mind I assumed he was approaching me with a request for money, or wanting to know what I was. Since I try, with God’s help, to be kind to everyone, even trying to bring a smile on a stranger’s face by saying something self-effacing in an attempt to put them at ease, I was totally caught off guard by what he did to me.”

The Abbot says that he’s been left with a certain amount of hearing loss, ringing in his left ear, and reduced hearing in his right ear, along with an echoing sound.

“As a lover of classical music, I pray this will not be permanent,” he said. “I am also suffering from headaches, and general body pain.”

“Deputies were unable to locate the suspect, but again this case is open and an active investigation,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott told The B-Town Blog.

SUSPECT PHOTOS RELEASED
UPDATE: The following surveillance video photos of the suspect were released Wed. afternoon:

The Abbot added:

“I want him caught, not only that he not injure another person, but that I can have a chance to visit him in jail, and let him know that I forgive him, and that God loves him.”

Here’s the description of the assault that was posted on Facebook:

“A random man came over, and sucker punched Abbot Tryphon in the face, knocking him to the ground. They had to wait for paramedics, and a sheriff came and took his report. Fr. Tryphon was with Monk Martin of the monastery, and they were out running errands. Fr. Martin was in the vehicle when the attack occurred. They are both shaken up by the incident, and at this time, Fr. Tryphon’s hearing has been affected.

“Please pray for Abbot Tryphon and especially that there is no permanent damage. The police are looking for the attacker.”

On Wednesday, April 17, the Abbot posted this:

“An Update from the Old Monk

“I should be filled with rage against a brute who could perpetrate such an unwarranted attack against me, especially since I’d smiled at him, just prior to the sucker punch. In my mind I assumed he was approaching me with a request for money, or wanting to know what I was. Since I try, with God’s help, to be kind to everyone, even trying to bring a smile on a strangers face by saying something self-effacing in an attempt to put them at ease, I was totally caught off guard by what he did to me.

“Instead, I find myself filled with compassion and love for the poor tortured soul who was driven to commit such a heinous act. That a young man would sucker punch an obviously old man, and a stranger to him, is truly hard for me to comprehend. Even more, I am praying for my attacker. The reason is this: Although I am imperfect, and a terrible sinner, I am graced to live a fulfilling and fruitful life, assured of God’s love for me and surrounded by people who love me also. Not so the man who sucker punched me. His pointless act suggests someone filled with loathing for those around him and even more for himself. What inner torment could cause him to lash out at someone who has done him no harm? He is his own victim even more than I am his victim. I know I have forgiven him, but can he forgive himself ? My prayer for him is that he can find the courage to ask God to forgive him.

“Meanwhile, I covet your prayers. I have been left with a certain amount of hearing loss, with a ringing in my left ear and reduced hearing in my right ear, along with an echoing sound. As a lover of classical music, I pray this will not be permanent. I’m also suffering from headaches, and general body pain. So, in your charity, please keep this old monk in your holy prayers.

“To the countless people, including three metropolitans, two archbishops, many bishops, and a holy abbess, who have reached out to me, I am humbled by your love and caring hearts, and thank you all from the bottom of my heart. And, as strange as it may sound to some, I am grateful that I was blessed to share in Christ’s suffering and abuse, during these final days of the Great Lenten Journey.

“I just heard from a Seattle television station that the King County Sheriff Department is trying to get the surveillance video from the gas station so they can air it publicly, with the hope someone will recognize the man. I want him caught, not only that he not injure another person, but that I can have a chance to visit him in jail, and let him know that I forgive him, and that God loves him.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon”

Fr. Martin wrote this on his Facebook page:

“A break from my Lenten break from Facebook to announce that Abbot Tryphon was assaulted today. It was random, unprovoked. The assailant knocked him hard enough that he landed on the ground. He was just there pumping gas at a gas station, off island. I was in the car.

“Pray for him. He’s very sore. We’re both traumatized a bit. Right now we are worried his ear may be injured. Everything else looks fine. No concussion. No broken jaw. Teeth and joints are fine. Thank God.

“And pray for the angry soul who acted out like this from his inner torment.”

CITY RELEASES STATEMENT
The City of Burien sent out this Tweet Wed. afternoon:

Print This Post  Email This Post

Comments are closed.