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Vita owner sentenced for reckless driving as DUI, assault charges dropped

The legal process related to DUI, hit and run, and assault charges brought against Caffe Vita and Via Tribunali owner Mike McConnell after this March 2010 incident at Broadway and James has played out. According to the City Attorney’s office, McConnell pleaded guilty to an amended charge of reckless driving last Thursday and the other charges against him have been dropped.

According to a police report on the March 31, 2010 incident, a man told police he was sitting in his car waiting for the light at James St and Broadway just after 6:00 PM when a black Mercedes crashed into him from behind. The man told police McConnell punched him in the chest before leaving the scene. McConnell gave his side of the story to the Seattle Weekly once the charges became public saying that the man’s allegations were false, that there had been no damage to the vehicles and that the man had tried to extort $1,500 from McConnell to keep the police out of the situation.

During last week’s court proceedings, McConnell was sentenced to a year in jail for the reckless driving charge but all but two days of the sentence were suspended. He’ll spend a day with a work crew and perform 8 hours of community service to serve those days. He also faces $771 in fines and two years of probation.

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19 thoughts on “Vita owner sentenced for reckless driving as DUI, assault charges dropped

  1. Nice try Mr Fox news. You sound like some right wing republican trying to villify anyone who lives and works on the hill. Must be a slow news day for you buddy. I think the National Enquirer has an opening for you.

  2. This is an example of the news and follow up for which I come to CHS. Kudos to them.

    I’m glad he got slapped on the wrist and needed to shell out plenty of legal fees to (partially) clear his record.

    Even if it simply curbs his drinking and driving, it’s well worth it. Having “250 employees” and “20 licenses” aren’t get out of jail free cards, just get out of jail cards.

  3. I wonder if Mike now wishes that he actually paid the $1500, he certainly has egg on his face now. Not that extortion is right, but…

  4. As a person who lived across the street from this jerk’s party at the Stimson Green, he’s always apologetic once he gets caught. Otherwise, what the hell, I have my Mercedes and you trash bags get out of my way.
    Maybe he and his friends should get this message: you may be a bunch or privileged, and successful (for now) brats, but you’re not quite enough Hollywood status to get away with this. About time.

  5. Hey, the only reason Mike is so successful is he serves 10,000 coffee drinks across the lake at Redmond. So all of you people who think the site here is cool, great; but that’s where he makes the money for the Mercedes.

  6. Just like Fox likes to jump all over any mistake Obama makes, CHS has a vendetta against McConnell that’s pretty clear. Do a search on this site for Caffe Vita. The reporting is overwhelmingly negative. It’s not that dude doesn’t make mistakes, and reporting this was newsworthy, but you across the board fail to mention any of the good stuff Vita does for the community in Capitol Hill and around seattle, and has for years. Life Longs Aids Alliance, Capitol Hill Housing, Washington Bus, KEXP, Vera project, Service Board, Farestart…the list is long. Tens of thousands of dollars a year.

    “Reporting” is something a journalist does. If you’re gonna claim it, jseattle, start acting like one. Get facts, not just shit you hear around the hill from your friends about your “enemies.” Or not, but just claim to be the rag you are then.

  7. Since you are so quick to denfend, what about all of the small busniesses he contiunually tried to run out of business? He has been nothing but an ass to many businesses that have long existwed on the hill, and he is only good to his employees as long as they idolize him. Any negative press he gets, he deserves. I don’t think there is anything wrong this blog reporting, fairly objectively, on crimes that a capitol hill business owner was involved in. Eszpecially when those crimes took place on the hill.

  8. Umm…and you know this how? I work for Microsoft. I live on CH. I spend my money here. I’m no business major, but wholesaling coffee to a handful of cafes (that only operate M-F) doesn’t seem to be the bulk of their business. The margin in running your own cafe and using your own coffee you roast (don’t they have seven now?) seems like it would be much more lucrative. In addition to the probably hundreds of other wholesale customers around the NW. And grocery stores? No, it must all be Redmond (insert rolling eyes here.)

    And, are you implying as an employee of Microsoft I should be relegated to Starbucks or Tully’s only? Sounds like you might be the “douche.”

  9. You should read gooder. I said his crime was newsworthy. It’s just funny CHS tries to hide their vitriol under the guise of “reporting” like your Anderson Cooper or something.

    And what businesses would those be? What about the ones he helped? There’s two sides to every story. CHS “reports” one.

  10. We treat Vita with the same high respect and scrutiny as we do any Hill business. You can see our Vita archives here:

    My only beef with Vita is how hard it can be to get info from that camp. Not unusual for some successful businesses, however. But I do wish they’d return my phone calls and/or e-mails more. That’s the biz.

    Plus, I work at Pike Vita on a regular basis so I’m handing over my money for a local business I support.

    H, if you’re involved in Vita and want to make sure we’re looped in on Vita and/or Tribunali’s activities or you want to talk about this, give me a call 206-399-5959

  11. J, I don’t work for them. Just been living on the hill for a while. Quite unlike me to partake in this kind of thing, but feeling spunky today.

    Good on you for reaching out, however.

  12. “Hey, the only reason Mike is so successful is he serves 10,000 coffee drinks across the lake at Redmond. So all of you people who think the site here is cool, great; but that’s where he makes the money for the Mercedes. “

    Who the fuck cares? I work in Redmond, live and enjoy life in Cap Hill, as do a ton of others. Get over yourself.

  13. Mike has a long history of bad behavior and mistreating his employees. This behavior should have been treated more severely as it is clearly his MO.

  14. So another rick “kid” gets off by buying justice. Shocking. And unfortunate.

    He paid some money and basically made this “go away”.

    He apparently settled with the guy he assaulted, probably buying his way out.

    The reckless charge allows him to avoid trouble with the liquor control commission.

    We little people should be so lucky.

    How long until he pays the court to remove this from his record?