A group of 80-100 protesters were walking through a residential neighborhood early Thursday morning. They had come to protest at the home of Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda. But according to neighbors, Mosqueda doesn’t live in the neighborhood anymore. The protest group was noisy and one resident who was unable to sleep went into the street to confront them and ask them to quiet down. A small group of protesters became angry that the man was filming his encounter with them on his phone:
Officers met the victim at Swedish Hospital early this morning, where he was receiving treatment for a head injury. The victim told officers that around 12 am, he was attempting to sleep but was kept awake by a protest that had been making its way through the neighborhood. He said that he went outside his home near 10th Ave W and W Lee Street and asked the crowd to quiet down so that he could sleep, video recording the confrontation on his phone. The man said that members of the protest became angry that he was recording them, flashed laser pointers in his eyes, and then struck him in the head with a blunt object, possibly a flashlight. Several other protesters provided first aid to the victim while, according to the victim, a person with the protest deleted the video on his phone. A family member transported the victim to the hospital, where he met with police.
Officers spoke with multiple witnesses who confirmed the victim’s story, found surveillance cameras that may have captured the incident, and took photos of blood splatter at the crime scene.
There is still blood on the ground where the man collapsed after the blow to his head:
In Queen Anne, neighbors say 80-100 protesters moved through here (10th Ave W/W Lee) late last night and early this morning. @SeattlePD says one man came out, confronting them, and was assaulted. Dried blood can be seen in the street #KOMONews https://t.co/IZEjsLjZrQ pic.twitter.com/75idmyMrgy
— Cole Miller (@ColeMillerTV) July 31, 2020
Kiro 7 found two videos of the incident posted by members of the protest group. It appears to show a woman in the protest group shining a flashlight directly in the man’s face from about 2 feet away. The man got sick of it and pulled the flashlight out of her hand and threw it on the ground. That led several members of the group to start shoving him and he wound up on the ground. It’s not clear from these clips who hit the man in the head but it doesn’t seem that any of the protesters were injured, even slightly, before the assault.
Everything in this clip is pretty standard operating procedure for protesters. Make a lot of noise, confront anyone with a camera and ratchet up the confrontation, in this case by keeping a light in the man’s face to further irritate him. Police are seeking help to identify the people responsible but since the same group deleted the video from the victim’s phone there’s not a lot to go on.