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Originally published May 11, 2009 at 9:17 AM | Page modified May 11, 2009 at 4:46 PM

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Man seriously injured in arrest in Belltown early Sunday wasn't involved in a crime

A 29-year-old man suffered a serious head injury early Sunday as he was being arrested by two King County sheriff deputies in connection with a stabbing in Seattle's Belltown. However, the sheriff's office now says it has determined the man wasn't involved in the stabbing.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A 29-year-old man suffered a serious head injury early Sunday as he was being arrested by two King County sheriff deputies in connection with a stabbing in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood.

A witness pointed the man out to deputies as one of the suspects involved in a fight in a convenience store, but the sheriff's office now says it has determined the man wasn't involved in the stabbing.

The man was identified as Chris Harris of Edmonds by his stepfather, Todd Keeling. Keeling said Harris has not regained consciousness since slamming his head into a concrete wall. He said a sheriff's detective told him that Harris ran a few blocks but then stopped and was tackled by one of the deputies. Harris suffered life-threatening skull fractures to the front of his head and remains in serious condition in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center.

Two uniformed deputies, who work for Metro Transit and were patrolling bus routes and shelters in Belltown, received a report of a disturbance at a convenience store at the corner of Second Avenue and Bell Street around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, according to sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart.

As the deputies walked toward the store, a woman approached them and said a man had been beaten and stabbed. She offered to show them where the suspect had gone, leading them to an alley between Second and Third avenues, Urquhart said.

When they got to the alley, the woman pointed to a man saying, "That's one of them right there," according to Urquhart. The man she identified was Harris. The deputies yelled for him to stop but he took off running, Urquhart said. The deputies chased the man to Fourth Avenue and Lenora Street.

During the arrest, Harris was seriously injured when his head hit a wall.

"Now we don't believe he was involved in the fight, although we had a witness that said he was, and of course he took off running when we tried to question him," Urquhart wrote in an e-mail.

By the time police arrived at the convenience store, the parties involved in the fight had all left, Urquhart said. The stabbing victim has not been located.

One of the deputies is 26-years-old and has worked for the sheriff's office for four years; the other is 28 with three years on the force and another two years experience with the Phoenix Police Department, Urquhart said.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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