Seattle police on Tuesday honored two men who stepped in to save an officer who was attacked during a Seahawks game on Christmas Eve.
For Seattle police officers, working an off-duty security job at a Seahawks game mostly means helping people find their seats, breaking up squabbles between drunken fans and getting a chance to watch some football.
Officer Don Little knows the drill. He has worked numerous games during his three years with Seattle police without any serious incidents.
But on Christmas Eve, during the Seahawks’ last home game of the season, against the San Francisco 49ers, Little found himself on the losing end of a confrontation with a violent man that could have been much worse if two strangers hadn’t intervened.
Ushers had called for Little’s help after a man refused to leave a seat that belonged to someone else. Little, who was in uniform, was escorting the man, Andrew Duane Weaver, out of the 100-level seating section when Weaver suddenly “spun back around and punched the officer in the chest,” according to charges filed in King County Superior Court.
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Weaver then “bull-rushed” Little, slamming him into a concrete wall and knocking the officer unconscious, according to the charges.
Weaver then struck the unconscious officer two or three more times in the face before Chris Rice, a soldier based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, grabbed him in a headlock and held him until other officers arrived, charges said.
Mat Rasmussen, a Spokane resident brought in by his employer, StaffPro, to work game security, also jumped into the melee.
“He was drunk, in my opinion,” Rasmussen said of Weaver. “He cocked back to hit Little and I grabbed his arm to keep him from getting any further.”
On Tuesday, Rasmussen and Rice, a California native who was at the game to root on the 49ers, were each awarded a commemorative Seattle Police Department coin, a police cap and a sweatshirt, as well as a historical book about the department from Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer during a ceremony at police headquarters. They also were each given a commemorative coin and a gift certificate to Tulio Ristorante from the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild.
Little, 32, who returned to work Tuesday for the first time since the incident, thanked Rice and Rasmussen during the ceremony that drew dozens of officers and other department staff.
“I appreciate what you did, preventing a bad situation from being worse,” Little said to the men.
Little suffered a concussion, bleeding in his ear, eye swelling and other head injuries, Seattle police Detective Dave Duty wrote in his report.
Weaver, 27, who lives in Federal Way, spent Christmas at the King County Jail. He was released Dec. 26 on $5,000 bond. He was charged with third-degree assault on Dec. 29.
Weaver has no prior criminal history.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed
to this report.