Seattle officer charged with attacking handcuffed suspect


A Seattle police officer was charged Wednesday with intentionally assaulting a handcuffed man who had assaulted the officer’s wife, also a Seattle police officer, during an incident in September.

Officer Christopher M. Hairston, 46, who joined the department in 1999, was charged with misdemeanor assault in a complaint filed by the City Attorney’s Office.

His wife, Officer Katie Hairston, and another officer responded Sept. 24 to a report that a person had passed out near Seattle Central Community College, the City Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The officers spoke to several people who were drinking alcohol, including one who assaulted Katie Hairston, the release said. She was treated at a hospital for a head injury and scrapes to her hands and knees.

After her assailant had been placed in handcuffs, Christopher Hairston, a K-9 officer who had been on duty elsewhere, arrived at the scene, according to the release.

He “walked up to the suspect and it is alleged, intentionally assaulted him,” the release said.

No description was provided of Hairston’s specific actions, and a police dashboard-camera video that captured the incident has not been released because of pending legal matters, including a potential civil suit.

Hairston, if convicted, faces up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

He was placed on administrative reassignment after the incident and faces a Police Department internal investigation when the criminal matter is concluded.

His wife’s assailant, John M. Ross, 23, was charged with the felony of third-degree assault by the King County Prosecutor’s Office. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor.

Court papers say he violently pushed Katie Hairston and punched her in the face.