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Kent man, Seahawks fan faces assault charge for punching Vikings fan at game
King County prosecutors have charged a 35-year-old Kent man, who also is a Seattle Seahawks fan, with second-degree assault for allegedly punching a Minnesota Vikings fan while leaving a game last November at Century Link Field in Seattle.
Seattle Police arrested William D. Vanmeveren for investigation of assault after the Nov. 4 game. He was booked into the King County jail in Seattle and released early the next day on $1,000 bail pending further investigation into the severity of the victim's injuries, according to charging papers filed Aug. 26 in King County Superior Court.
Vanmeveren is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, Sept. 9, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He has been issued a summons to appear in court.
The Kent man reportedly "sucker-punched" a Vikings fan in the face as the they left their seats near the end of the game. The Vikings fan fell backwards on stairs and struck his head on the cement, according to charging papers. He reportedly lost consciousness.
Witnesses saw the incident and identified the suspect to stadium security. Witnesses said that Vanmeveren attacked the man out of nowhere. The Vikings fan had engaged in good natured joking with the Seahawks fans sitting near to him and his wife during the game.
Police arrested Vanmeveren at the game. He told officers he was walking down the stairs and a fist came flying towards his face. No words were exchanged and he didn't know why someone tried to punch him. He stated the punch barely grazed his chin, so he punched the man (the Vikings fan) in front of him, who was below him on the stairs.
Vanmeveren said he knocked the man down and then left. He said he had no injuries himself. He did not report that the man he punched was the person who punched him.
The Vikings fan suffered a fractured nose, concussion, cuts and abrasions. He also had nerve damage and pain because of the attack. For a couple of months, his arm felt tingly and his neck hurt before the injuries finally went away. He sometimes still gets tingly in his right hand.