Man ‘unarrested’ after agreeing to pay for ripped pants in Broadway restaurant coupon row

The pressure on local businesses from Groupon hype is well documented. We don’t know if this incident at a restaurant in the 400 block of Broadway East involved a Groupon or any of the other myriad group buying service discounts but a dispute over a coupon spilled onto the streets of Capitol Hill last Wednesday night leaving a pair of pants ripped and an elbow bloodied. In the end, the restaurateur and the patron shook hands and made up thanks to an SPD officer willing to negotiate and some creative tipping. Here’s how the deal was worked out, according to Officer Keating:

On 01/19/2011 I was working in full uniform driving a fully marked patrol vehicle. I responded to Broadway E/E Republican St for Sgt. Aratani who on viewed a disturbance at that location at 2133 hours.


V/ said he [redacted] located at 4 Broadway E. He said that S/ and came into his restaurant and had dinner. Dinner came to a total of $42. S/ and W/ gave a coupon to the restaurant but would not take the coupon. They began to argue with the V/ . V/ said the couple then left the restaurant without paying for their food. V/ stopped the two at the corner of Broadway E/E Republican St. After stopping the two S/ struck V/ with a closed fist, he then fell to the ground which ripped his pant leg and scraped his left elbow.

S/ and V/ were stopped by Sgt. Aratani, from robbery, who then called for a patrol unit to respond, which I did at 2133 hours. I arrested S/ and read him his Miranda rights from a Seattle issued card.
V/ said there are no hard feelings and if the two would pay for the food they ate and his pants then he would not press charges. S/ said he could pay with his credit card and would leave a generous tip for the manager to pay for his ripped pants. V/ said he would accept that. I screened the arrest and unarrest with Sgt. Aratani.

I walked to the restaurant with the victim, witness and suspect. At the restaurant I watched S/ pay the bill with his credit card and leave a tip of over $70 for to pay for his pants. I then watched as V/ and S/ shook hands. I gave a business card with my name, serial number and case number on it to V/ and S/ . I then watched as S/  left the restaurant.

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11 thoughts on “Man ‘unarrested’ after agreeing to pay for ripped pants in Broadway restaurant coupon row

  1. Unfortunately the customer handled this wrong. Without the benefit of knowing the fine print of the offer it’s hard to know who was in the wrong but the customer did receive a meal for two so to walk out without paying anything was theft. It’s doubtful it was a totally “free” meal including gratuity coupon as those usually state present up fron’t. The customer should have paid and then disputed the charge on his credit/debit card or “gotten Jessie”! Lol

  2. I didn’t read anywhere that the coupon entitled the customer to an entirely free dining experience. Most restaurant coupons are a buy one get one. In spite of a lack of restrictions printed on them or using the coupon within the specific period covered by the restrictions, I’ve ran into trouble plenty of times using a coupon.

    Leaving without paying for anything is wrong. The guy going after the customer was also in the wrong. Not sure how the officer managed to negotiate that deal, but kudos. Any good public defender could have gotten the customer out of trouble on those charges.

    It doesn’t say what restaurant it was, but I’ve got a pretty good idea.

  3. Also, we don’t know whether it was Groupon or another site, but the big ones usually have really good refund policies. Groupon quickly and without hassle refunded one of mine when I couldn’t get a response from the photographer I’d bought a package from.

    I mean, of course it’s a douchey move on the part of the restaurant not to honor it if the coupon was valid, but yeah, there are other ways to handle that situation.

  4. I don’t think that’s fair….There’s always been plenty of coverage of law enforcement dilemmas, protests, and responses here on CHS. I find it to be an incredibly unbiased independent news source (as opposed to The Stranger, for example).

    On the other hand, the fact that you refer to cops as “pigs” automatically suggests you have an agenda….Honestly, why complain about a story about a cop who’s able to reconcile a situation without violence or an arrest?

  5. Also Wanda, by referring to cops as “pigs” leads one to believe you are just a radical with an axe to grind. Some cops are pigs, most are not. Even so, they deserve some basic respect by calling them officer, regardless of how you feel.

  6. “the customer did receive a meal for two so to walk out without paying anything was theft. It’s doubtful it was a totally “free” meal including gratuity coupon as those usually state present up front”

    I sincerely doubt it was a “free meal for two”, and that the fine print agreed with this.

  7. “How come jseattle never misses a chance to paint a pig as an angel but when a pig does something wrong, it’s ignored?”

    Report it, you goof.

  8. I agree with CapHillMax….calling police officers “pigs” is so-1960s.

    You can’t possibly believe that all cops are “pigs,” can you? Why paint with such a broad brush? Most of them are professional and put their lives on the line for us on a daily basis.