Man arrested in Gig Harbor in connection with 2013 Olympia stabbing

A 21-year-old Gig Harbor man was arrested this week for a 2013 stabbing near Olympia’s Sylvester Park, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Joshua P. Rich was arrested at Gig Harbor City Hall after he appeared in municipal court on a traffic matter. He appeared Thursday afternoon in Thurston County Superior Court, and Judge Anne Hirsch set bail at $5,000.

He was being held in the Thurston County Jail.

“I’m exceptionally proud of the way the lead investigator stayed with this case and eventually brought it to a successful conclusion,” said Capt. Jason Berry, commander of the State Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division. “This was a serious assault which not only sent a man to the intensive care ward but frightened many others who were simply enjoying a pleasant summer day in downtown Olympia.”

The patrol takes care of law enforcement at Sylvester Park because it is considered part of Capitol Campus.

WSP began investigating after an altercation in the park on July 16, 2013. Daniel Homan, 36, was accused of stabbing a third man. Rich allegedly witnessed the attack, ran after him and stabbed him.

According to court documents, the second attack was recorded on an Intercity Transit video security system.

Homan spent several days in a hospital and was eventually charged in the initial attack. In January 2014, he was sentenced to 13 months in prison for second-degree assault. He couldn’t identify his attacker.

The case was given new life in November when an Olympia man told an Olympia police officer that he heard an acquaintance, whom he knew as Joshua, talking at a party about the Sylvester Park incident, according to court documents. The man said Rich became involved in the fight “because it was something fun to do.”

The man didn’t know Rich’s last name, but he did point him out to the officer in downtown Olympia, and the officer recognized him as Rich. The officer contacted a WSP detective with the information.

The detective also interviewed the man and located Rich in Gig Harbor.

The detective showed Rich the surveillance footage, and Rich admitted to stabbing Homan, according to court documents. He told the detective, “I didn’t know (the knife) was in my hand, it was already in my hand … I (expletive) up. I don’t want to go to jail. Jail is not for me. It was a (expletive) mistake that I will have to live with.”

Rich will be arraigned in Thurston County Superior Court on Feb. 17 at 10 a.m.