The Morning Blotter: Capitol Hill Bartender Assaulted In Anti-Gay Attack

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee February 24, 2010

A bartender at Neighbours on Capitol Hill was left with bumps and bruises after he was assaulted in an apparent gay bashing near the club last week, a police report says.

Shortly before 3:00 a.m. on February 17th, the bartender called police and said he had been assaulted at Harvard Ave and E Pike Street about 20 minutes earlier by a man wielding a baseball bat. The police report notes officers had received a call about a disturbance at Harvard and Pike around the time the man claims he was assaulted.

The report says when police arrived, they found the bartender, who appeared "heavily intoxicated." He then introduced himself to officers "by saying he is a bartender at Neighbors and he is gay." Neighbours staff could not be reached Thursday night to confirm whether the man is an employee.

The man told police he was walking to his truck with a friend when he heard two men "yelling gay epithets at him."

The bartender confronted the two men, who were sitting in a silver Mercedes, the report says, and the driver got out of the vehicle, pulled out a baseball bat, and hit the bartender in the head.

The bartender told police he "diffused the situation" and the two men left. 

Medics checked the bartender out—the report says he repeatedly told medics he was a "cowboy"—and recommended he go to a hospital to be treated for the bump on the back of his head and hearing loss he had suffered in the attack.

The police report indicates the man provided police with several different versions of his story—likely due to the fact that he was drunk—but told officers a QFC security guard had witnessed the assault.

Police spoke with a QFC guard, who told officers he witnessed the victim "slamming his hands on the trunk of a silver Mercedes" prior to the attack. The guard's account makes no mention of whether the two men in the Mercedes made anti-gay remarks.

According to the guard, the two suspects told the bartender to get away from their car, and one of them pulled out a baseball bat.

The security guard told police the victim "dared" the suspects to hit him, and then lunged at the man with the bat, who struck the bartender in the head. The bartender then lunged at the man a second time and was again struck in the head before he was taken away in a truck by a woman, the guard said.

When police confronted the bartender with the guard's version of events, he eventually admitted that a friend had taken him away from the scene. Police then asked the bartender if he'd had too much to drink."No, I haven't had too much to drink...I'm a bartender," the man told police.

"When I told him that the comment doesn't mean much...he looked confused and then said "Blow me!," Officer Kathryn Andre wrote in her report. "I believed he meant a breathalyzer to show his level of intoxication."

The man told police he would go to the hospital and went on his way.

While the victim's muddy recollection of the incident makes it difficult to tell what did and didn't happen, the incident is being investigated by police as an anti-gay assault.

What may perhaps be the most troubling detail of this incident is the fact that the QFC guard witnessed the attack and apparently did not intervene or call police.

We'll see if we can find out more about this incident—which police are investigating as an anti-gay assault—later today.

Photo via Google Street View

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