Police: Drunk man legally carrying gun picks fight with bartender

SEATTLE -- A drunk man with a legally carried pistol picked a fight with a bartender using the unimpeachable argument of "it's a free country" early last Friday in downtown Seattle, according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to the police report for the incident, the bartender was putting away his business' deck furniture in the 1900 block of First Avenue around 12:30 a.m. when the suspect walked up to him and started moving things around, such as the chain and poles separating the business from the sidewalk.

The bartender later told officers he asked the suspect to stop messing with things, and the highly intoxicated suspect responded by yelling, "Hey, it's a free country!"

According to the report, the bartender and suspect continued to "trash talk" while the bartender was stacking chairs. Eventually, the suspect turned things physical by pushing the stack of chairs into the bartender's face, causing a gash that would require stitches, according to the report.

The two men started fighting, eventually falling to the ground and rolling into the middle of the street.

According to the report, the suspect's pistol fell out of his hip holster during the fight and skittered across the pavement. An employee at a business next door heard the bartender's cries for help, grabbed the gun and called 911.

When officers arrived, they found the bartender and the employee from next door holding the screaming suspect down.

According to the report, the next-door employee handed the gun over to police, and officers handcuffed the suspect, who refused to calm down.

A quick check on the suspect and his gun revealed it was registered to him and he had a valid concealed weapons permit for it. In addition to the gun, the suspect also had a number of work-related knives on him.

The suspect was arrested and booked into King County Jail.