Father Tryphon, a Russian Orthodox monk, says he hopes to meet with his assailant in jail. (Courtesy Photo)

Father Tryphon, a Russian Orthodox monk, says he hopes to meet with his assailant in jail. (Courtesy Photo)

Local abbot injured in Burien assault

The Seattle PoliceDepartment arrested the 33-year-old suspect on Saturday

Father Tryphon, the abbot at the All Merciful Saviour Monastery in Dockton, is recovering after being assaulted in Burien last week; a suspect has been arrested.

On Monday, Sgt. Ryan Abbott, spokesman for the King County Sheriff’s Office, said the Seattle Police Department arrested the 33-year-old suspect on Saturday following an unrelated incident and that he was in jail.

Reached last week, Father Tryphon, 73, said that he and Father Martin were at a gas station in Burien on April 16, when a man crossed the parking lot and approached as he pumped the gas. The man asked him “How’s Trump?” Father Tryphon responded that he had no idea, when the man punched him in the head, knocking him to the pavement.

He added that he had expected the man to ask him about his vestments or for spare change, noting that he had smiled at the stranger immediately before the assault.

Father Tryphon said that he believes the man assumed he is a conservative Christian — which he said he is — and that the assailant “took him out” for that. He added that the man seemed disturbed by the cross he was wearing.

“Father Martin saw him look at my cross, and that is when his anger turned to rage,” he said.

After the assault, the suspect walked away and into the convenience store, where surveillance cameras captured his appearance. Witnesses called 911, summoning emergency medical responders and the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Two days after the assault, Father Tryphon, who volunteers as a chaplain for Vashon Island Fire & Rescue and the sheriff’s offices of Pierce and King County, said he was feeling poorly, experiencing problems with his ears, including his hearing and equilibrium, and noted that he had been to the doctor twice following the incident. He said he hoped his assailant was apprehended soon so that he does not harm anyone else — and so that he might try to help the man.

“I want to go to the jail and ask to talk with him and tell him I forgive him,” Father Tryphon said.

On Monday of this week, Father Tryphon said his ears were improving, but that he was still experiencing some hearing loss and feeling sore. And, he said, he is still planning on visiting his assailant in jail.

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