The Bus Ride From Hell

One passenger's tale of woe and stab wounds.

Seattle resident Michael Acevedo just wanted to take his family downtown. Instead, he ended up on the bus ride from hell. It all began early in the afternoon of Sunday, August 21, when Acevedo boarded a Route 120 bus in West Seattle with his mother, his girlfriend, their three children (ages 9, 8, and 3), and two nephews and a niece (ages 18, 14, and 9). The mother and eldest nephew sat in the front of the bus, while the rest of the group migrated toward the back. They were headed to the stop at Third and Pine, near Pike Place Market and Westlake Center, but their trip took a treacherous turn when 38-year-old Alphonse Lamont Hope stepped aboard. Hope, a six-foot-tall black man wearing a bright-blue number 11 Boise State football jersey, settled into the seat just in front of the bus' rear doors, along with his girlfriend, while Acevedo and his girlfriend, Anna Barquet, stood nearby. When the bus exited the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a few passengers tried to make their way toward the exit. The bus was crowded, and somebody brushed against Hope's lady friend. That's when things began to go horribly wrong. According to charging documents from the King County Prosecutors Office, Hope informed the unidentified white male passenger of his transgression, and, despite receiving an apology, shouted, "I should beat your fuckin' ass!" As the man got off the bus, Hope allegedly pelted him in the head with a can of beer. "The can burst open," Seattle Police detective Paul Suguro writes in the charging documents, "spilling beer all over several passengers on board the bus." As the bus neared the intersection of Third and Union, Acevedo tried to make his way past Hope, planning to tell his mother to get off at the next stop. That's when the situation spiraled out of control. "I know he not starting shit!" Hope's charmer of a girlfriend allegedly shouted at Acevedo. "I'll beat your fucking ass," Hope added, "I'll fight you off the bus!" Acevedo reportedly replied, "You threw beer all over us and I didn't say anything," then turned around to talk to his mom. Hope, according to witnesses interviewed by police, grabbed the overhead railings of the bus, lifted himself up, and kicked Acevedo with both feet. Acevedo scrambled toward the back of the bus and his kids, but Hope allegedly "intercepted" him and continued fighting. Meanwhile, Hope's girlfriend allegedly started kicking random people on the bus. By this time, the bus had reached Third and Pine. The fracas spilled onto the sidewalk in front of Macy's. Acevedo's mother grabbed her son's arm and tried to break up the fight, at which point Hope allegedly "struck her several times in the head." Several witnesses told police they then saw Hope pull out a knife, repeatedly stab Acevedo, then turn to his girlfriend and say, "We gotta go. We gotta go. I stabbed him." Hope and his female companion fled into Macy's and then to the Metro bus tunnel. Police caught them a few blocks away at Fourth and Olive. He was shirtless but still carrying the bright-blue, and now blood-stained, jersey inside-out. A three-and-a-half-inch knife was in his back pocket. Hope told police that "he got jumped by five guys and was just defending himself." He was arrested and taken to Harborview to treat a cut on his hands suffered during the attack. He is now charged with one count of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and one count of fourth-degree assault. According to the charging documents, Hope has a lengthy rap sheet that includes arrests in at least 12 different states. His previous convictions include charges for rape, assault, carrying a concealed weapon, issuing bad checks, tampering with evidence, urinating in public, and more. He has been booked twice in King County since 2003. Acevedo was also taken to Harborview and treated for his wounds. His mother was likewise hospitalized with a mild concussion, a sprained finger, and bruises. No word on how the family ended up spending the rest of their afternoon downtown, but here's Hope-ing things went a little better for them once they got off the bus.

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