Belltown residents take to streets in honor of assault victim

Belltown residents take to streets in honor of assault victim
SEATTLE -- Brett Paulson is on a mission to protect his Belltown neighborhood.

He helps run the volunteer-based Belltown Citizens on Patrol, or BCOP.

"The bad guys can see you coming, and they know, 'Hey, the citizens are out tonight,"' said Paulson.

The citizens on patrol gathered on Monday to take to the streets with a special person in mind.

"We've decided to dedicate this walk to Matt Hale," said Paulson.

Matt Hale

Hale, 68, was badly beaten and robbed earlier this month as he walked home from his late shift at work. Police say four men jumped Hale just after midnight.

Surveillance cameras at Fisher Plaza captured the attackers walking away from the assault. A witness said one of them, a black man wearing a yellow-striped polo shirt with denim shorts, stomped on Hale's head as he lay bleeding in the street.

"It's one of your own and something senseless happened to him," Paulson said.

The violent event has energized residents, especially those who live at the Seattle Heights Condominiums where Hale worked as a concierge and even kept watch over the box of BCOP supplies.

"We miss Matt. We want him back on our team. We want him handing us the box when it's time to go out walking," said Paulson. "Let the thugs out there who are responsible for this know that we're not going to stand for it anymore. We're taking back our streets at midnight. It's where we live."

Family members said Hale has a long road to recovery ahead of him, but has started a rehabilitation program for trauma patients.

This Wednesday, many Belltown businesses will donate a part of their earnings to help cover Hale's medical bills.