A bartender was badly slashed across her face after she asked a customer to show his vaccination card.
The man argued with staff when they told him to leave, then he struck a bartender with a long stick he was carrying, according to police.
The attack happened on Monday night, December 27, 2021. No matter how busy it gets, employees said they always make time to follow King County’s health order and check each customer for proof of vaccination. That rule erupted into a dangerous confrontation for bartender Felicite Ogilvy.
“I asked him, ‘do you have your vaccination card?’ and he said ‘I’ve had the vaccine but I don’t have the card’ and I was like OK but you need to have proof of it,” Ogilvy said.
Ogilvy told the man he had to leave but surveillance footage showed him lingering by the door and arguing with staff.
“He ended up basically saying ‘You’re picking on me,'” Ogilvy said. “I’m not going to deal with it.’ That’s when he started getting hostile.”
A coworker came over to help defuse the escalating situation – and even a few customers – but the man wouldn’t go and fought back with a long stick. Witnesses said a sharp piece of metal was attached to the bottom end.
“He swung the stick as hard as he could at my face, so not only did it puncture me, he also slit me,” Ogilvy said.
The wound was so deep Ogilvy needed 31 stitches to close it up. She got away from the skirmish in shock as the man ran off to a light rail station and hopped aboard a train.
Police boarded the train a few stops down the track but could not find him, and believe he may have gotten off at a previous station. Seattle police are now tracking down leads and said they have been called to help deal with other conflicts over public health mandates.
“There have been a few cases here and there of restaurants and stores having issues enforcing the mandate,” said Det. Patrick Michaud. “Thankfully these incidents are still fairly rare.”
Ogilvy wants customers to be safe but said requiring businesses to be vaccine police has been a burden from the beginning.
“I don’t agree with the mandate because it’s like why am I getting hurt?” she said. “Why am I the one who has to control this?”
Ogilvy is taking a few days off to recover but plans to return to work soon. Meanwhile, police are trying to ID the man in the footage and make an arrest.
King County’s proof of vaccination requirement took effect on Oct. 25. It applies to bars, restaurants, gyms, and events such as live music or outdoor events with 500 people or more. Businesses are expected to check everyone 12 years and older and could face fines if they don’t enforce the rules.
Police urged anyone with information to call 206-233-5000.