It could have been the Coldplay song "Yellow" that upset the patron of a Wallingford (Seattle) neighborhood bar. Or perhaps it was the karaoke singer who belted it out.
Employees at Changes, on North 45th Street, said they don't know, but the ensuing melee just past 1 a.m. Thursday was one unlike anything seen at the bar before. As soon as the man on stage started singing about the stars in his best Chris Martin impersonation, the woman reportedly said: "Oh, no, not that song. I can't stand that song!"
Witnesses said her distaste for Coldplay quickly took a violent turn, and she leaped at the would-be crooner, shouting expletives and telling him that his singing "sucked," while expressing the same opinion of the song, according to a Seattle police report. She pushed the man and punched him, all in an effort to stop his singing. Other patrons went to the singer's aid and hauled the 21-year-old woman outside. "It took three or four of us to hold her down," said Robert Willmette, one of the bartenders at Changes.
The woman, Willmette said, "went crazy" when she got outside, punching him twice in the face, and throwing blows at the others gathered around her.
But the person who drew most of the music critic's ire was an off-duty Seattle police officer. The off-duty officer identified herself as a cop, gave her badge number and had another patron call 911 to request help for an officer.
The response was fast and overwhelming, with both patrol officers and Gang Unit detectives converging on the normally tame neighborhood bar. "They blocked the whole street off," Willmette said.
According to the police report, the woman's rage only grew when the uniformed officers arrived. The officers took the woman, whom Willmette described as "a little hippie girl," to the ground, but she was still able to head butt the off-duty officer several times before she was handcuffed.
After treatment for injuries she suffered in the scuffle, the woman was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault. She was also held on a warrant issued for a previous theft charge. The off-duty officer also went to the hospital, for treatment of several cuts, scrapes and bruises.
Later Thursday morning, bar employees were shaking their heads over the woman's bizarre behavior. According to the night bartender's notes, she had just one drink -- a single shot of Jägermeister.
She didn't appear to be one of the regulars who flock to the bar for its karaoke nights on Sundays and Wednesdays. Most are regulars who come for the pleasure of the singing, and the police are rarely needed.
"She was just crazy," Willmette said.
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