by Briana Gerdeman
A Woodinville man charged with felony assault for allegedly swinging a machete at his neighbor had previous convictions for theft, assault and reckless driving, according to charging documents.
"He’s no stranger to the police," said Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Colin James Briganti, 22, was charged with second-degree assault on Oct. 21 for the alleged confrontation in unincorporated King County with Wojciech Wieszczecinski. Briganti was booked into jail on Oct. 25 but bonded out the following day, said Dan Donohoe, press secretary for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charging documents describe Briganti as "a danger to the community" based on his prior convictions and because he "assaulted a complete stranger with a machete."
On Sept. 10, Wieszczecinski was driving home with his teenage son when Wieszczecinski saw a man, later identified as Briganti, riding a bicycle in the middle of the street. The sun made it hard to see Briganti, Wieszczecinski said, so he drove alongside Briganti with the window down and suggested Briganti move to the right side of the street so he wouldn’t get hit.
Briganti allegedly screamed obscenities at Wieszczecinski and said "Get off my back!", the charging documents state.
When Wieszczecinski stopped his van in front of his house, Briganti threatened to slash Wieszczecinski’s tires, according to the charging documents. Briganti allegedly pulled out a machete that was attached to his bike and swung it toward the open car window, where it came within 6 inches of striking Wieszczecinski, Wieszczecinski told police.
The charging documents state Briganti told Wieszczecinski, who is Polish and speaks with an accent, "Get out of my neighborhood."
Wieszczecinski called 911 and, in the car, followed Briganti to Briganti’s house, which is several houses away from Wieszczecinski’s. Briganti went inside his house but continued screaming at Wieszczecinski, the charging documents state. From the yard, Briganti allegedly threw rocks at Wieszczecinski’s van.
According to the charging documents, when police arrived, Briganti refused to come out of his house, saying he had a warrant for a previous arrest and couldn’t go to jail because he had health problems. Police forced entry into the house, used a stun gun on Briganti after he refused to comply with verbal commands, and took him into custody.
Wieszczecinski said he hasn’t seen Briganti since the the day of the arrest.
"When the police came, it was pretty intense," Wieszczecinski recalled. But after that day, "it’s been quiet. I didn’t see him."
Wieszczecinski didn’t know Briganti before the alleged assault, but was aware of "problems" at Briganti’s house.
"About six months ago, we saw the police going through the house, so I know it wasn’t his first time having problems with the police," Wieszczecinski said.
Briganti’s arraignment is set for Nov. 4.