Jason Queree, the man suspected of punching the protester multiple times, has been arrested 29 times since 1995. He has been convicted or otherwise found against for nine felonies, including forgery, stolen property, unlawful firearm possession and theft, and 12 misdemeanors, including driving with a suspended license, vehicle prowl, domestic violence, assault, DUI and criminal trespass.
TheBlaze has learned that Queree was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge, sent to King County Jail June 30, and released the same day (bail was set at $1,000), the records office of the King County Prosecuting Attorney confirmed Friday.
Police were reportedly near the area initially then left, KOMO-TV notes, adding "the video shows a 36-year-old Marysville man taking off his shirt and threatening the sign-holding protester":
KOMO-TV adds that after a group of women try unsuccessfully to steal the protester's sign...
...a group of men grab it and pull him to the ground while the crowd cheers.
That's when the video shows the 36-year-old run back toward the fight and punch the sign-holder in the back of the head multiple times.
Officers returned to the scene after the fight was broken up and arrested the 36-year-old, who was booked into King County Jail. A 22-year-old, also from Marysville, who the video shows grabbing the protester's sign and kicking him while on the ground was arrested and later released.
KTTH radio featured a column on the incident. Here's some of David Boze's "Intolerance at the Pride Parade: Where are the hate crime charges?" opinion piece:
According to reports, two men face misdemeanor assault charges. It seems to me, others could have easily faced additional charges, but I kept asking myself, what would the headlines look like and what would the charges (or at least the potential charges) be if this were a religious gathering and two gay men offering zero resistance were assaulted and harassed this way? What if this had happened at one of Pastor Ken Hutchinson's events? Or at a National Organization for Marriage event and a religious crowd had bullied and assaulted gay men for holding signs saying "gay is good" or "Religion is a fraud" AND the men/women doing the assaulting/harassing made continual references to their sexuality before doing so. Do you think hate crime charges might be warranted?
I could be wrong, but if what I'm reading here is correct, those who participated in the destruction of the sign, threatened these men with harm, or physically assault them should be charged under the hate crime statute.
I had one colleague say that these protestors were jerks for being there and that the signs they had or shirts they wore were "fighting words." That's nonsense, at least from what we see and hear in the video. If those are fighting words, then ANY disagreement could be so construed. I also heard, "well, they're at a pride parade so they're trying to get attention." Again, so what? That's what a protest is. People protest where they can highlight their issue, provide contrast, or simply find cameras and people. These guys weren't disrupting a funeral they were simply expressing their religious beliefs with a sign.
"But a jury in Seattle would agree they deserved it," my colleague observed.
Maybe so, but if so, Seattle is not the tolerant town it claims to be. What good is it to celebrate tolerance or self-control if you can only stop yourself from attacking someone if you agree with them and their beliefs don't offend you?
A few more images of interest.
This one shows the shirtless attacker pushing the second street preacher:
This image shows a woman filmed throughout most of the video (apparently with the shirtless attacker) confronting the sign-holding street preacher:
While the shirtless attacker is cuffed and questioned by police, the same woman is shown with a stroller, occupied by containers of alcohol, as well as a child:
Here's the entire video of the confrontation and attack, via LiveLeak (Warning: Lots of profanity and violence):