A Wednesday night incident involving a crashed car with a “Don’t Tread on Me” sticker, a report of men chasing people with baseball bats, and a driver sent to the hospital with a bloody nose likely suffered from impact with the interior of his Honda played out near Broadway and Howell — and provides another example of the strange times underway around Capitol Hill.
According to SPD and East Precinct radio reports, around 7 PM, a 911 caller told police a car had crashed just off Broadway and its occupants were chasing and beating people with baseball bats. The witness also reported shots being fired during the melee.
Officers were dispatched and rushed to the scene even as there has been a proliferation of false reports to 911 and on social media through the weeks of protest in the city and on Capitol Hill. Many of the false reports CHS has heard being dispatched — but not necessarily responded to — have come during marches and protests as activists and volunteers have been reporting police radio and scanner updates on social media. Other inaccurate 911 calls have been the result of worries and concerns about groups like the “Proud Boys” sparked by sightings of things like vans with out of state or no license plates, or groups of white males.
Wednesday’s call including a dramatic scene with a dangerous group of men and a car with a “Don’t Tread on Me” sticker seemed cut from similar cloth. Maybe it was somebody’s deliberate attempt to fool the people making scanner updates on social media. Maybe it was what somebody actually believed they saw.
According to Seattle Police, a Honda Accord was truly found at the scene where its driver had crashed into a garbage bin and damaged a street sign. There were no signs of shell casings or damage from any gunfire. No baseball bats were located. The driver was also missing.
Police found him nearby bleeding from the nose. According to SPD, the driver said he was being chased by a group of people near Broadway when he crashed his car. He told police he was assaulted by the people after he crashed. Police say his bloody nose appeared to have been the result of the collision — not a beating.
The driver was taken to Harborview for treatment. Police say they have recommended misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and hit and run.
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