Capitol Hill

Police: Drunk man thinks taxi's computer is his phone, attacks driver

SEATTLE -- No one wants to deal with the throngs of inebriated people that flood the streets after closing time on the weekends. But sometimes it can't be helped, for example if you're a cab driver and one of those intoxicated individuals is completely convinced your dispatch computer is his phone.

That's what happened around 2:15 a.m. Saturday when a taxi was stopped for pedestrians at Bellevue Avenue East and Pine Street on Capitol Hill.

According to the Seattle Police Department's report for the incident, an extremely intoxicated man walked up to the cab, opened the passenger door, and pulled the dispatch computer from its mount, saying, "Give me my phone."

Ignoring the cab driver's demands to give it back, the suspect put the dispatch computer in his pocket and started walking away, according to a report.

A second cab driver stopped when he saw what was happening, spoke to the suspect, and convinced him to give the dispatch computer back.

After getting the dispatch computer back, the original cab driver was about to leave when the suspect again approached the taxi, this time opening the driver's door and saying, "Give me my phone," according to the report.

The suspect then reportedly walked around to the passenger side of the cab, opened the door hard enough to break its hinges, and cracked the cab's rear-view mirror with his flailing.

According to the report, the cab driver confronted the suspect, and the suspect grabbed the driver's collar and punched him at least two times.

The cab driver was able to get free and call 911. And, the suspect hung around until officers arrived.

According to the report, the suspect was only able to tell officers the cab driver was preventing him from getting home by way of an explanation.

The suspect was arrested and booked into King County Jail for investigation of property damage, assault and theft.