Man attacked in downtown Spokane near House of Charity

Man attacked in downtown Spokane near House of Charity

A Spokane man says he was randomly attacked Tuesday morning as he walked past the House of Charity shelter on West Pacific Avenue.

James Schoeff said he was hit so hard, he blacked out. The man who attacked him came running out from a parking lot next door to the shelter. Schoeff, an MMA instructor, relied on his training and did his best to defend himself – nothing seemed to work.

Schoeff said, “I figured he must have been on some sort of drug or something because everything I kept throwing at him he just kept going like it was nothing.”

He finally got away but lost his iPad in the attack. Schoeff called police but the man was long gone before officers arrived.

Several homeless people who live in the neighborhood claim they see punches thrown everyday.

“When they do drugs, they start tripping. Their paranoia gets to them. Their schizophrenia gets to them,” said Naomi Snyder.

“People walking around with bats, trying to intimidate people, you name it. It’s down here when it comes to violence,” said Sunshine Wigens.

Both women said they tolerate the violence because they have no choice – both rely on House of Charity for help, and both would like to see more police outside the shelter.

“When their presence is here, there is less violence,” Wigens said.

Earlier in January, Catholic House of Charity announced it was looking into hiring off-duty Spokane police officers – but that added protection would cost an estimated $300,000 a year. Schoeff believes it’s worth every penny.

“It just gets worse, and I’m afraid somebody is going to end up getting murdered.”