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Seattle man who harassed, punched business employees at Pike Place Market could see trial

KOMO-TV Seattle 9/7/2022 Jackie Kent, KOMO News Reporter
© Provided by KOMO-TV Seattle

A Seattle man accused of harassing and punching workers at local businesses could be going to trial. 

Police say John M. Williams first punched a worker at a hotel near 1st and Stewart, then moved on to assault more people at Bacco Café during the busy Labor Day weekend rush at Pike Place Market, according to online records.

Witness video shows a chaotic scene at the popular breakfast spot around 10 a.m. Saturday, showing a man disrupting patio diners off 1st and Pine. Security acted quickly to grab him, as meals went flying and some customers jumped the railing to get away.

“I think it’s sad for the witnesses who have to see that kind of thing,” tourist Mark Nesmith stated after watching the witness video.

The incident report states Williams first punched a worker in the nearby Inn at the Market before landing at the restaurant. Online records claim Williams punched a waiter and assaulted a total of five people, and it took an estimated 10 others to hold him down until police got there.

“It’s close to everyone in this neighborhood who’s trying to make a living and sadly it is something we have to deal with on a daily basis,” nearby Seattle Shirt Company General Manager Kari Hicks stated.

She’s disheartened to see the violence and property crime near the market in recent months.

“It creates a really bad impression when things like this happen,” Hicks added.

It was just last month someone beat a man to death with a metal pole off 3rd and Pike. Plus, Hicks’ business and others have experienced break-in after break-in this year.

“I would obviously love to see more police officers and I would love to see them on the streets, doing patrols, making themselves really known,” Hicks stated.

The Downtown Seattle Association provided the following statement: 

“Visitors, residents and workers should expect to feel safe in the heart of our city. The mayor’s SPD recruitment and retention plan puts us on the right path, but recent events serve as reminders that our community needs more immediate intervention as well. Solving this issue is critical.”

Records show Williams faces five counts for assault. He also had previous warrants for assault and property damage. The city attorney has requested a jury trial and Williams’ next hearing is set for Wednesday morning.

Seattle man who harassed, punched business employees at Pike Place Market could see trial
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