Burien mayor says attacker referenced city’s sanctuary policies

Burien City Council candidate Jimmy Matta. (Photo courtesy Jimmy Matta.)

Update July 25: A 62-year-old man has turned himself in to Burien Police in connection with the alleged assault on Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta, according to the B-Town Blog. He was arrested and released, the news organization reported.

Original story posted July 24: Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta says a man who assaulted him during the Olde Burien Block Party over the weekend made reference to the city’s sanctuary policies and to his ethnicity.

Matta and Burien police say that a man in his 60s grabbed Matta from behind and pushed him to the ground.

“The man then threatened me and said ‘mess with me and I’ll kill you and your illegals’ and ‘we’re not going to let illegals take over this town.’ He also said he plans to run against me in the next election,” Matta told the B-Town Blog.

Matta told the B-Town Blog that the man was upset over the city’s sanctuary policies.

Matta the had confronted him before, according to Q13.

Matta won a close election for city council in November, which appeared to hinge heavily on support of the city’s so-called sanctuary laws. The city last year passed an ordinance that blocks city officials from asking people about immigration status or religion.

In a close election, voters elected or re-elected candidates who supported the laws. They defeated a slate of candidates for city council who ran under the slogan “Burien Proud, Burien First,” and who had platforms that included opposition to the ordinance.

Matta’s fellow councilmembers selected him to become mayor earlier this year, making Matta the city’s first Latino mayor.

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