Religious intolerance?

Street preacher attacked last Thursday, police say


A downtown street religious sermon was halted after police say a transient attempted to stab the gospel speaker with a knife last Thursday.

Sherene Hartlett, 33, allegedly came into the crowd of 25-30 people who had gathered at the intersection of State Avenue and Adams Street on May 6.

According to the event organizer, Phillip Prietto, while Charlene Allen, 58, was providing religious testimony on a loudspeaker, Hartlett emerged from the crowd toward Allen, providing a downward stabbing motion toward Allen’s face. Prietto pushed Hartlett away from Allen, whom he believed would not have survived the injury if Hartlett had succeeded in stabbing her.

Hear Prietto's interview with an Olympia police officer, below.

Allen told Olympia Police that Hartlett’s knife came within a few inches of Allen's face and that she had never seen Hartlett before.  

Olympia Police contacted Hartlett as she was walking through the alleyway running parallel between State Avenue and 4th Avenue, wearing a multi-colored wig and digging through her bag.

An open folding knife, several inches long, was found on Hartlett during the search.

Hartlett was booked into the Thurston County Jail for Assault 1st Degree.

  • Courtesy of Olympia Police Department

    This is the interview Phillip Prietto gave to an Olympia police officer on May 6, 2021.


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