A man drinking Fireball whiskey and toting a backpack containing marijuana assaulted two East Precinct officers responding to a call at Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) last night.
The incident began when SPD received a call from the Seattle Fire Department at 9:46 p.m. that a woman was passed out in front of the college. The officers, a man and a woman, drove down Broadway but didn’t see anyone. They parked their car and got out to check on foot. Upon walking towards the SCCC Performance Hall they noticed three men and a woman passing around a ¾ empty open bottle of Fireball whiskey.
The male officer asked one of the men, a 29-year old, for his ID. The other man who had been holding the bottle, a 23-year old, then began to walk away. The male officer told the 23-year old to stay. While his attention was focused on the 23-year old, the 29-year old began to walk away. The male officer redirected his attention to the 29-year old and the female officer focused on the 23-year old. The 23-year old then began walking away from the female officer.
The female officer grabbed the man’s backpack strap to prevent him from leaving. He then turned towards her, pushed her and punched her in the face. At this point, both officers tried to physically arrest the man but he kept fighting with them. He managed to punch the male officer in the face as well and eventually the melee went to the ground with the officers attempting to wrestle the suspect into handcuffs and the suspect fighting to escape.
During the struggle, the female officer struck her head on either the ground or the stairwell. It took both officers about four minutes to finally get the man in handcuffs.
At this point, the female officer’s husband, an on duty SPD K9 officer, arrived. Seeing that his wife had been injured, he approached the suspect and made brief physical contact with him. Two officers closest to him immediately separated him and kept him away from the suspect.
The female officer received on scene treatment from SFD. She received additional care at a local hospital for her head injury and abrasions to her hands and knees. The male officer declined medical treatment.
The suspect was transported to the East Precinct where he received treatment from SFD. A search of his backpack revealed a plastic bag containing about 3.8 grams of suspected marijuana. The suspect received additional treatment at Harborview and was booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Assault.
Officers at the scene including the K9 officer notified their chains of command disclosing the contact made with the suspect. An Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) complaint has been filed and the case is currently under investigation. The K9 officer has been placed on administrative reassignment. Per department policy, he is not being named.
The bottle of Fireball whiskey and the suspected marijuana were placed into evidence.
The disposition of the other two people contacted prior to the melee is not known.
The department’s investigation into the incident continues.