Ballard

Norwegian student likely blinded in Ballard bar attack

SEATTLE -- A Norwegian student will likely face a lifetime of blindness and pain after being attacked outside a Ballard bar by a man described by witnesses as "all bulked up," a "Hulk wannabe" and showing signs of "roid rage," according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to probable cause documents, 54-year-old Ballard resident Michael Squibb and 21-year-old Norwegian student Joakim Grevstad were at the Ballard Smoke Shop on Ballard Avenue May 17 following the neighborhood's annual celebration of Syttende Mai, or Norwegian Independence Day.

Witnesses told officers they were standing outside the bar smoking around 11:37 p.m. when they heard glass breaking and saw Grevstad on the ground and bleeding profusely from his face. There was broken glass all around him.

According to probable cause documents, the witnesses reported seeing Squibb a few feet away, muttering and looking angrily at Grevstad, before quickly walking away.

Officers arrived and found Squibb a few blocks away. According to probable cause documents, he later told police Grevstad, who bar staff said was very drunk and had been cut off from service, kept pushing him with his arm while they were outside the bar and was acting strangely. He told police he warned Grevstad, who he had no previous contact with, not to come near him and punched him when he did, according to the documents.

Squibb, who told police he thought Grevstad was going to strike him first, reportedly didn't know if he hit Grevstad with a glass or not but admitted it was a possibility.

Squibb, who officers described as very muscular and who outweighs Grevstad by 75 pounds, told police he only had one or two drinks at the bar and wasn't drunk, according to the probable cause documents.

But, bar staff told police other patrons had alerted them to Squibb earlier in the night, saying he was acting "off." Staff at the Smoke Shop reportedly asked Squibb to finish his drink and leave the bar after he started pounding on a jukebox. And, one bartender described him as volatile.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney has charged Squibb with assault. He has previous convictions for hit and run, possession of stolen property, harassment, theft, reckless endangerment and more.

According to the probable cause documents, Grevstad, who is in the United States to attend college, suffered serious facial and eye injuries requiring surgery. He will likely be blind and lose an eye in addition to facing lifelong pain from his injuries.