The DJ, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, said he was apparently assaulted because he had not immediately played the heavy metal music wanted by a group who had just entered the Lynnwood tavern.
Nine people were arrested after a black disc jockey playing at a Lynnwood tavern early Saturday was physically attacked in a melee in which racial slurs were used.
Those arrested, all of whom are white, are under investigation for malicious harassment, assault, malicious mischief and DUI, said the Snohomish County sheriff’s Office. In Washington, a hate crime comes under the malicious harassment state statutes, and the arrest report includes such a harassment.
The DJ, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, said he was apparently assaulted because he had not immediately played the heavy metal music requested by a group of men who walked into the Rec Room Tavern at 149th and Highway 99.
The DJ said he tried to accommodate the group, and he had put on his “prepare list” tunes by Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.
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“What, they couldn’t wait a minute and a half, two minutes? That’s all they had to wait to get to their music?” said the DJ. “For that they beat my ass, and called me a (N-word)?”
He said that within a short period, more people began pouring into the tavern. The 911 calls began at 12:40 a.m., said the sheriff’s office.
The DJ said that one point in the subsequent brawl, one of the men told him, “We will find you and we will kill you.”
Lt. Jeff Brand, of the sheriff’s office, said initial reports to police were that 15 to 20 people were involved in the fight.
The DJ said one man had the word “devil” tattooed from the front to the back of his shaved head. He also said he saw swastika tattoos on the arms of a couple of others, which he noticed “when they were about to jump me.”
Up to then, he had been playing everything from rhythm and blues, to Top 40, to Phil Collins for a private party at the tavern. The place gets generally good Yelp reviews, such as, “relaxed, chill environment.”
The DJ said he was first approached by one man who said about the music, “Give me hard stuff.” The DJ said the man appeared to him to be “totally drunk.”
The DJ said he decided that it would be a good time to go outside and have a smoke. When he returned, he said, the man who had made the music request had taken off his pants and was dancing in his underwear.
The DJ said his Mac laptop in which he has stored 9,000 songs now has a cracked screen. He said he was taught the craft by his stepdad when he attended Juanita High School in Kirkland. “I live for music,” he said.
Did he consider what happened to be a hate crime?
“I wasn’t going to say it at first. I’m gonna say it now,” said the DJ. “I was the only black person there.”