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Friday, May 3, 2013

An Interview With the Man In the Hat (Upon His Release from Jail After His May Day Arrest)

Posted by on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Arrested, but not yet charged
  • E.S.
  • Arrested, but not yet charged. (Click to enlarge.)
Late in the evening on May Day, Christopher saw a man in a hat getting arrested in Cal Anderson Park as his friends were singing "Bohemian Rhapsody."

"For what?" the arrestee yelled.

"Throwing rocks," was the reply.

Then, as I was biking down to Art Walk yesterday evening, I passed the King County Administration Building and saw the man in the hat on the sidewalk.

He'd just finished an interview with a TV reporter. He seemed quite happy.

The man in the hat told me he'd spent the night in jail. ("Boring," he said. "Really boring.") He's 19 years old. He's trained as a machinist. Pinned to his hat, a button for Black Coffee Cooperative.

"I was peacefully protesting," the man in the hat told me. Then he showed me his court paperwork. It says he was arrested for assault and reckless endangerment—though not yet charged—and released on certain conditions. He's to have no contact with the victim, listed as the SPD, "unless emergency." He's to possess no weapons. And he's to show up on Monday for the next step in his legal proceedings.

"They let me free because they didn't have any reason to keep me there," he told me. He also described his return to court on Monday as merely a formality, "to confirm my innocence." He added that he's a little annoyed because "they still have my backpack, which has my laptop and Magic cards in it."

So why does the man in the hat think he got arrested?

"I was on the front line the entire time," he told me. "Apparently an officer witnessed me in a crowd of people throwing items."

  • E.S.
I asked: Did you throw anything at the police?

"I did not throw any rocks," he replied. "I'll say that."

What about other things?

"They were throwing stuff at us," he answered.

The man in the hat told me he'd never been to a protest before Wednesday. He joined the May Day march, he said, after a friend told him about a pregnant woman who'd been pushed around by the SPD at a protest rally last year and later miscarried. It sounds like he heard a version of this story—which The Stranger found could not be substantiated.

"That's what I'm here to protest," the man in the hat told me. "I'm completely against police brutality and it's our capitalist society that allows this shit to happen and people to get away with it."


Comments (44) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment

I guess the guy's heart is in the right place, but he's totally ignorant.

Cool hat, though.
Posted by NineOneFour on May 3, 2013 at 6:17 AM · Report this
Fuck capitalism! And give me back my laptop and magic cards, both products of capitalism.
Posted by Bax on May 3, 2013 at 6:32 AM · Report this
Let's not forget the Dominic actually pushed the whole (completely false) SPD-caused-Jennifer-Fox's-miscarriage narrative for a solid day before your ace news editor decided to fact-check his own story and then pretended he was the one calling bullshit on the narrative he'd help establish in the first place. Real classy stuff there, guys. It's amazing you only have the one Pulitzer.
Posted by Sounds Suspicious on May 3, 2013 at 6:52 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
Posted by Pope Peabrain on May 3, 2013 at 6:55 AM · Report this
The term "asshat" has never been more appropriate.
Posted by Magic Sucks on May 3, 2013 at 6:59 AM · Report this
The moral of the story is that if your going to throw stuff at cops don't wear any type of distinctive head gear. It will make it easy for them to recognize you.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 3, 2013 at 6:59 AM · Report this
Congratulations, The Stranger. You've crossed the final post modern pseudo-journalism treshold.

We can't tell if this article is mocking this dumb kid or attempting to hold him up as a sort of Forest Gump-like Savant martyr. It's certainly not reportage since there are no relevant facts or anything interesting contained in it. Neither the reporter nor the subject appear to have faintest notion of what the fuck is going on as they stumble through this world like clueless goobers, basing one decision after another on vapor-thin rumors.
Posted by tkc on May 3, 2013 at 7:00 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 8
I find it very funny that no one has yet mentioned the reason why American cops in these situations have to be so aggressive with their use of tactics:

Because any yahoo in this country with a pulse can have a gun under his coat, or in his pocket. The cops are forced to treat anyone like a deadly threat because in a hot second they could turn into one, especially in such an environment charged with violence and groupthink herd poisoning.

The reason British cops do not carry guns (for the most part) is because the people they are policing overwhelmingly do not carry them. This is not a coincidence.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 3, 2013 at 7:11 AM · Report this
He should get 5 to 10 years prison for that scraggly and patchy neckbeard.
Posted by c'mon girlfriend on May 3, 2013 at 7:15 AM · Report this
mikethehammer 10

So no critics of our current economic climate should be allowed to utilize products of that climate, lest they undermine their position? You're an even bigger idiot than the kid with the hat. Which is saying something.
Posted by mikethehammer on May 3, 2013 at 7:17 AM · Report this
Thanks for actually interviewing the people involved, instead of turning May Day into an extended disaster story like the rest of the media.
Posted by Tent_Liberation_Army on May 3, 2013 at 7:23 AM · Report this
That first picture of the guy, with thumbs in pocket and leaning back, is sooooooo "I'm a nice guy but awkward when I have no small talk to say." I used to have a college housemate that did that exact same pose every time he ran out of words.
Posted by UW flashbacks on May 3, 2013 at 7:42 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 13
Does the average Stranger reader even know what the May Day protests are about? I've seen next to nothing about the two major issues the protesters are trying to address but volumes covering the vandalism.

It would be great if our "alternative" media would cover WHAT the protests were about instead of the sensationalism that we can get from KIRO, KING and the others.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 3, 2013 at 7:43 AM · Report this
Zebes 14

It's true. The only valid critics of corporate culture are pre-modern tribes out in isolated jungles and islands. But throwing spears at helicopters isn't very constructive criticism, so clearly their argument is faulty!
Posted by Zebes on May 3, 2013 at 7:43 AM · Report this
@13 Don't give a shit. Temper tantrums should not be rewarded with attention.

Posted by giffy on May 3, 2013 at 7:53 AM · Report this
Yep, Slog never did apologize for hyping the Jennifer Fox lies promoted by Ian Finklewanker and his gerbil.
Posted by Hipster socialists. How cute! on May 3, 2013 at 8:03 AM · Report this
Hey dipshit in the hat: The May Day march was for immigrant workers, not as revenge for things that happened last year. It'd do the SPD thugs good to remember that as well.
Posted by treehugger on May 3, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Report this
It doesn't matter what these protests are "about." These protests don't do shit for shit. The Iraq War protests didn't do shit to the point where they petered out years before the drawdowns even began. Occupy just created a bunch of 99%/1% jokes (at least in Honolulu it created a more cohesive homeless camp but that's about it).

Why do you put protests like this on a pedestal? They're ridiculous wastes of time and money. And yes, before the "oh so you're saying" question comes, I'm suggesting you do nothing if protesting is the only idea you have, which is a stupid idea.
Posted by The CHZA on May 3, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Report this
@8: This isn't a Tea Party rally. Nobody is packing heat under their clothing (or out in the open, as the teabaggers like it)
Posted by treehugger on May 3, 2013 at 8:07 AM · Report this
Hey kid,
Some advice from someone who has been arrested for protest related stuff in the past.


His non-answer about throwing stuff is sheer stupidity. If asked questions by the press, say "I'm innocent of all charges"

Even small charges.

These kids have no idea what they are doing.
Posted by whothefuckisthis on May 3, 2013 at 8:08 AM · Report this
Is this part of that Occupy Bowel Movement? I had hoped all the public defacation and hobo tent rapes were a thing of the past.
Posted by Thank You Susanswerphone on May 3, 2013 at 8:09 AM · Report this
tainte 22
yeah, nice job you fucking idiot. you and the rest of your little clan got seattle national attention for this nonsense. congrats.
Posted by tainte on May 3, 2013 at 8:14 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 23

Black Bloc should transform into Black Block Capital and invest in an ever rising DOW.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on May 3, 2013 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 24
@19: The point is that you do not know that and neither do the cops.

Because there are so many guns in this country, police officers have to treat all threatening crowds/people as possibly armed with a deadly weapon. The crowd had already clearly shown it was willing to assault police officers.

It only takes one, you know.

All I am saying is that if you want the freedoms afforded by the second amendment you have to be willing to pay the price. Aside from scores of dead children, it comes with having to live in a society where police are basically forced to assume you are armed with a deadly weapon, and will treat you accordingly.

Either accept the consequences or attempt to eliminate the second amendment. You can't just have freedom without the costs.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 3, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 25
This Man in the Hat is the very definition of a well meaning idiot.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on May 3, 2013 at 8:39 AM · Report this
How many arrests, acts of vandalism and general disorder occurred at ANY of the local Tea Party rallies?

I hate to be the one to point that out, but it should be noted that the people with the guns at least showed the restraint to get their message out without any problems.

I hate to defend the Tea Party, but ...
Posted by Jeff on May 3, 2013 at 8:44 AM · Report this
raindrop 27
@18 gets it.

(Sorry to blemish your reputation with a kudos from raindrop, CHZA - but it was such refreshing commentary that I couldn't resist.)
Posted by raindrop on May 3, 2013 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Eli, you are interviewing a moron who after a year still believes the fake pregnant girl who miscarried story because he heard about that from some other idiot? Yes please, i look forward to learning more about the scary "police brutality and the evils of capitalism" from this jackalope. Maybe his friend will tell him about that too so he can form an opinion without doing any research of his own (too busy buying hats and cool earrings i guess) or knowing any facts whatsoever. This guy truly is a great spokesman, he pretty much sums up this entire movement within this one story. Cant you at least pretend to have some credibility in these articles?
Posted by thatsjarrod on May 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM · Report this
It takes at least five years to become a decent journeyman machinist.
This guy may have gone to community college, but he aint no machinist.
Posted by CATSPAW666 on May 3, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
Fnarf 30
@8, they don't have to be carrying guns. The violence of the crowd is not theoretical, not "maybe"; eight cops were injured. When that happens, you're roasted, pure and simple. Violence against public servants doing their jobs is always going to deserve, and get, a heavy response. What this clown got was shockingly mild.

@20 has some good advice. Shut up. This guy could very well be the only one serving serious jail time simply because he was stupid enough to admit to throwing things at the police to a reporter.

Ah, well. He's probably fucked his chances of earning a living as a machinist in "our capitalist society".

@13, the May Day protests that turned violent weren't about anything. They were a baby's tantrum; an imitation of an imitation of an imitation of a prior generation's idiot protest. The earlier march about immigration rights had a message, which for some reason actually got heard, not sprayed. I wonder if Hat Boy knows why that is? I'm guessing not. He was too busy shitting on them.
Posted by Fnarf on May 3, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Hate to break it to you, Eli, but the Seattle Times is way ahead of you on this, journalism-wise.

No, I won't link to 'em. Go find a copy of today's edition in the trash.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on May 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
sperifera 32
He's definitely doable.
Posted by sperifera on May 3, 2013 at 9:25 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 33
Typical low information dullard that epitomizes the May Day protests.…
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on May 3, 2013 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 34
@30: I am merely saying that due to the prevalence of guns, cops do not have the luxury of being able to stop and think, "well, they are only plastic bottles now, nothing major." They simply have to assume everyone may have a deadly weapon and act accordingly. No hesitations, no kid gloves.

I am not saying that guns are ncessary for a crowd to be dangerous, or require the tactics used by the police on May Day.

I agree with you as far as the response to the violent protesters is concerned. Violence against anyone, especially civil servants must be met with the necessary suppressive force.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 3, 2013 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 35
32, This must be your theme song.…
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on May 3, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this
raindrop 36
@32: Well, kinda - but he's all yours. I suggest you start learning how to bake bundt cakes with saw blades.
Posted by raindrop on May 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 37
I adore young people who are happily going about their days being dumb as a box of rocks. But it's sad when they're co-opted, in this case by people shamelessly repeating to him that nonsense promoted by Ian Awesome Finkbeiner: that the mentally ill young woman's made-up miscarriage story was true, and that the courageous response is to tease cops in a big group.

Seems like this guy, like that poor dim girl before him, is being used by people pretending to care about political issues, pretending to care about him, just to swell their numbers. Reminds me how much when I was his age I would have done anything for people offering me a sense of belonging.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on May 3, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Fnarf 38
@37, sounds like Jerry Rubin and a million kids from a previous generation. Today's kids are smarter than that. Most of them.
Posted by Fnarf on May 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 39
@38, happily so. Young people today are on the whole so much more engaged and clear-eyed than my friends and I were back then. Hell, than we are NOW.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on May 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
I kinda miss sweet doofuses like this from my days as prosecutor. These kids would show up, have no frickin' idea what they were protesting, cause trouble, insult or attack the arresting officers and then get cute with me (stupid but expected) and the judge when they showed up in court (never a good idea). Frequently they ended up spending a few days in custody not for protesting but for the stupid shit they did afterwards (throwing books at the judge, calling everyone pigs and dropping trou). On the other hand, the grown up protesters had a coherent reason for why they were protesting and if they were arrested is was a planned act of civil disobedience. They were usually very polite to the police officer, judges and attorneys. One frequent protester/arrestee explained to he understood that everyone was just trying to do their jobs. Shockingly the grownups rarely spent anytime in jail and were treated respectfully by the officers, court staff and attorneys.
Posted by Dernin29 on May 3, 2013 at 10:38 AM · Report this
This isn't a Tea Party rally. Nobody is packing heat under their clothing (or out in the open, as the teabaggers like it)

Not to mention the Denver dope dopes!
Posted by Unbrainwashed on May 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this

One might also note that firearms regulation in any form is completely antithetical to anarchism.
Posted by robotslave on May 3, 2013 at 11:29 AM · Report this
sperifera 43
@36 - I wasn't really planning on feeding him, Gay Dude for Raindrop. Well, dessert that is...
Posted by sperifera on May 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Gern Blanston 44
There's footage on KOMO of this idiot dragging metal garbage cans into the street to use as barriers, so he was hardly protesting peacefully.
Posted by Gern Blanston on May 3, 2013 at 11:49 AM · Report this

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