Sean Jeremy Holdip, 41, of Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States has appeared in court after attacking Michael Poffenbarger and Noriko Nasu. No photos and mug shots of the attacker are available at the moment.
Poffenbarger is a registered nurse and is white. He is the boyfriend of Nasu, a Japanese-American woman who teaches Japanese at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, King County, Washington, USA.
At around 9:30 p.m. on February 25, 2021, Holdip approached Poffenbarger and Nasu while the couple was walking near 7th and King Streets in the Chinatown-International District in Seattle, King County. Holdip allegedly struck Nasu in the face and Poffenbarger in the head using a rock inside a sock as a nunchuck.
Authorities have yet to find evidence to indicate the attack was a hate crime. But Poffenbarger and Nasu believe it was racially motivated.
“The guy that hit us was black,” Komo News quoted Poffenbarger as saying of Holdip. “She’s Japanese and I’m white.”
A week after the attack, Holdip was arrested. On March 5, 2021, he made his initial court appearance before a King County Superior Court Judge.
The judge prohibited members of the press from taking photos of Holdip’s face. He is charged with two counts of second-degree assault.
A former emergency medical technician, Holdip lived in Daly City, San Mateo County, California, USA and College Park, Georgia, USA before moving to New York. Why he was in Seattle on the day Poffenbarger and Nasu were attacked has yet to be revealed.
Holdip worked as an EMT at the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY). He was fired in September 2014.
On March 10, 2011, Holdip allegedly pulled a 3- to 4-inch blade in front of Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn and made threats against two paramedics. During a hearing in 2014, he told Judge John Spooner that he pulled the knife to “clean his nails,” according to the New York Post.