Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ballard business owner speaks out after stabbing

It’s been nearly two weeks since a Ballard business owner risked his own life to stop a pair of tire slashers in the neighborhood.    

Johnny Robinson opened Electric Traveler Tattoo this past January.

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He told KIRO 7 his shop is his home, his sanctuary. When he saw some vandals threatening his home, he didn't think twice.

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He almost lost his life protecting the neighborhood.

“When they said we're putting you out in the ambulance, I was thinking that was the last time I would see anyone,” Robinson recalled. “I didn’t think I was going to wake.”

Robinson, who also goes by his artist name of Johnny Sunset, remembers sitting in his seat the night of Friday, Nov. 2, before the shop was going to close.

“All of a sudden, I heard this sound. I made a comment, 'Hey, that sounds like my tire getting popped,'” he added.

He was right.

Without a second thought, he and fellow artist Ryan Brann chased the pair of tire slashers around the corner.

“As I came around a car, all I remember was getting stuck in the chest and thinking, 'This dude's going to kill me. Right now, that just killed me,'” Robinson said.

Fortunately, he defied the odds.

“It punctured my right lung,” Robinson explained.

After two surgeries and a week in the hospital, Robinson is now recovering at home with his wife and two daughters.

“I always loved my family. but this is something -- I'm happy I actually get to go home to them and I really do thank whatever that I'm alive,” Robinson said as he teared up.

Looking back, Robinson said he never wanted to hurt anyone. He simply wanted the vandals to stop.

“There's been a slew of smashed windows, slashed tires, all kinds of stuff,” he said. “I'd really just like all that to stop. I think this neighborhood has had enough abuse.”

Police released a picture of a person of interest who was seen urinating at the animal hospital across from Robinson's shop around the time of the stabbing.

Robinson implores folks to speak up.

“I almost died and if this guy was involved, it is important to get someone like that off the street because if it isn't me, it could be you,” he said.

He's still in a lot of pain. But he's determined to get better as soon as possible so he can get back to doing what he loves. What's helping in his healing is the overwhelming support from the community.

“I'm hoping everybody watches this and truly hears, thank you, thank you so much from me and everybody here at Electric Traveler,” Robinson said.

KIRO 7 asked if he chase after the guys again.

“I probably would,” he answered.  “I don’t feel that people should be able to do things like that and be able to walk away.”

Robinson also has a message for the community. He doesn't want them to be scared. Though he doesn't want others to put themselves in danger, he also doesn't want them to be afraid to speak up when they see something wrong in the community.

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