King County Deputy Prosecutor, Scott Peterson, Assault’s Pedestrian and Is Not Held Accountable by King County Law Enforcement/Prosecutor’s Office

 

  1. July 15, 2004: Prosecutor Avoids Charges In Violent Parking Dispute

 

 

  1. Earlier Investigation Story:

 

City Attorney Reopens Criminal Case Against Prosecutor

New Evidence Uncovered By KIRO Team 7 Investigators

Chris Halsne
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Investigative Reporter

POSTED: 4:32 pm PDT July 15, 2004

UPDATED: 5:43 pm PDT July 15, 2004

SEATTLE — Following a KIRO Team 7 Investigation, the City Attorney’s office has reopened what was a closed criminal case of a reported assault committed by a King County prosecutor.

A pedestrian claims Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott Peterson hit her with a car while she saving a free street-parking space. Seattle police recommended the prosecutor be charged with assault, but he never was.

We’ve learned that the top man, Seattle City Attorney Thomas Carr, personally made the decision to not file charges against Deputy Prosecutor Scott Peterson.

Thursday afternoon, Carr sat down with KIRO Team 7 Investigators to explain his controversial ruling. Then, Carr decided to reopen this criminal case based on some new discrepancies we uncovered.

Video

Video: Ugly Dispute Leads To Alleged Assault

“I know that if it was me — if I had done it — I would have had charges filed against me,” said Danatte Griffin.

Griffin was standing at a parking spot last January when a county prosecutor backed his car into her legs. Witnesses say he badly wanted the open parking spot.

“I felt like he hit pretty hard, but I didn’t know how hard it impacted me. I actually don’t bruise that easily, but I had huge bruises across my thighs from it,” Griffin said.

The injuries — and independent eyewitness accounts — led police to conclude a crime likely occurred. Seattle police recommended the driver, Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor Scott Peterson, be charged with assault.

To Griffin’s frustration, the City Attorney’s office declined to prosecute.

“This guy is somebody. I’m nobody. So it doesn’t really matter what happened to me,” Griffin said.

“I don’t know Scott Peterson. I don’t know him. He got no favoritism here,” said Seattle City Attorney Thomas Carr.

Carr says his office fully investigated Griffin’s complaint and he personally made what he calls a “tough” decision to decline charges against the deputy prosecutor.

“It’s not OK to back a car into a person. It’s just not, not an appropriate thing. There are circumstances where you do something that is not OK and we can’t charge you with a crime. That’s what’s happened here,” Carr said.

But questions still linger about the handling of the case. Carr says his staff interviewed every witness on the police report. Those same witnesses tell KIRO Team 7 Investigators they were never contacted.

We also located a key eyewitness who talked with police the day of the alleged assault, but that prosecutors now say they have no record of.

“He didn’t want to run her over,” said Barbara Bailor. “But he wanted to move her back so he could get into that space. Bump, bump.”

In rapid development late Thursday City Attorney Carr decided to change his position.

After seeing our investigation and hearing Bailor’s comments, he reopened the criminal case against Scott Peterson.

The deputy prosecutor tells KIRO Team 7 Investigators he put zero pressure on the City Attorney to give his case any special consideration.

“No. First of all, it wouldn’t have done any good. They’re a different office. I don’t know anyone there. I understand that’s totally improper to do,” Peterson said.

A City Attorney spokesperson said that office plans to re-interview all eyewitnesses, suspects and alleged victims in this case.

The “no charges” decision against prosecutor Peterson could very well stand, but to avoid all appearances of impropriety, the criminal case will be fully re-examined.


 

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