Crime

Olympia police seek men who beat pilot with baseball bat during protest

Damage to glass doors and window at the Olympia City Hall from Saturday's late night vandalism incident is still evident on Monday, Sept.7.
Damage to glass doors and window at the Olympia City Hall from Saturday's late night vandalism incident is still evident on Monday, Sept.7. Staff photographer

Olympia police are looking for suspects who assaulted a U.S. Air Force pilot during Saturday night’s protest downtown.

Police say the motorcyclist, who is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was stopped in traffic on his motorcycle while protesters marched in the streets. Protesters saw two Confederate flags on his motorcycle and surrounded the victim, police say.

Police say protesters rocked the bike to try and knock it over, then sprayed the victim in the face with mace. Some protesters then beat him with a baseball bat and a glass bottle full of red paint, according to police.

The pilot suffered severe eye irritation and a bruised shoulder and back, according to police.

The only description of the assailants is that they were two white men, one about 6 feet 4 inches tall. They were dressed in black and camouflage and wore masks covering their faces. Anyone with information is asked to contact 360-753-8300.

About 100 demonstrators marched through downtown chanting “Nazis out of Oly” as well as anti-police slogans Saturday night. In addition to the assault on the motorcyclist, demonstrators smashed a glass door and windows at City Hall.

The unrest was sparked by the recent announcement of charges related to the May 21 police shooting of two black men by a white police officer in west Olympia. The officer, Ryan Donald, was not charged in the shooting of Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin.

Thompson and Chaplin were charged with two counts of second-degree assault for allegedly threatening Donald with their skateboards. Chaplin also will face a fourth-degree assault charge for allegedly throwing beer at a supermarket clerk earlier the night of the shooting.

Thompson and Chaplin are scheduled for arraignment Sept. 22 in Thurston County Superior Court.

These surveillance videos from the Sept. 5 protests in downtown Olympia were posted by the City of Olympia:

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