Father Tryphon (Courtesy Photo).

Father Tryphon (Courtesy Photo).

Man charged after assault on abbot

Father Tryphon initially had problems with his ears, including his hearing and balance, after attack

Following the attack on Father Tryphon last month in Burien, the King County prosecutor’s office has changed a man with assault in the second degree.

Kevin Siciliano, 33, is being held on $100,000 bail in the King County Correctional Facility. He was arraigned on Monday. He pleaded not guilty; a case setting hearing is scheduled for May 20.

On April 16, Father Tryphon, the abbot of the All Merciful Savior Monastery in Dockton, was getting gas in the 300 block of SW 148th Street in Burien, when the man later identified as Siciliano approached him and asked him, “How’s Trump.” Father Tryphon reported that he said he did not know, and the man punched him as was turning away.

The man then entered the gas station, where security cameras captured clear pictures of him. They were released to the public and area law enforcement at that time.

Court documents show that, days later, on April 20, Seattle police arrested Siciliano after he punched a woman in front of a homeless shelter. The officer recognized him and his clothes from the Burien press release. Reportedly, Siciliano yelled about President Trump during the assault on the woman as well.

Court documents show that Siciliano has a long history of assaults. His record includes an assault on a homeless man in front of Union Gospel Mission in January of this year. In that incident, Siciliano repeatedly hit the man with a broomstick and tackled him after he ran away.

Last December, he assaulted a man inside the same shelter and was reported to have assaulted others in the preceding days.

On July 3 last year, he assaulted a staff member at Seattle’s Downtown Emergency Service Center, from which he had been barred after a previous assault.

In all, court documents say Siciliano has been booked at least eight times since 2017 and failed to appear in court at least four times. Currently, he appears to be homeless.

Father Tryphon was injured in the Burien attack and initially had problems with his ears, including his hearing and balance. Earlier this week, he said his balance is better, but the ringing in his ear remains and his hip hurts. He said he has been told it will likely take a month or more to recover.

After the assault, Father Tryphon, who is also a chaplain for the King and Pierce County sheriffs’ departments as well as Vashon Island Fire & Rescue, said he wanted to visit the man in jail and tell him he forgives him.

On Monday of this week, he said that Siciliano’s long record makes him all the more concerned that Seattle officials are not doing all they need to do to help people with possible mental health challenges. And he noted that Siciliano could have killed him or the other people he assaulted.

“I am hoping the city is going to do something for that poor man,” he added.

Referring to himself as a “recovering psychologist,” Father Tryphon said he still intends to fulfill his promise of visiting the man in jail.

“I want to do whatever I can to get him help,” he said.

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