A Seattle man has been released after being arrested for allegedly threatening to kill a local journalist last week.
The incident, which was partly caught on video, occurred near the intersection of 3rd Avenue and James Street at around 11:40 a.m. last Wednesday, according to police.
Jonathan Choe, who covers Seattle’s homelessness crisis, said he had been following up on city efforts when a baseball bat-wielding “maniac” began threatening to kill him.
“As I am recording, this maniac wielding a baseball bat comes charging at me from across the street saying he wanted to kill me,” Choe recalled in a Twitter thread on the day of the incident. “You can hear the fellas warning me to get out of the area. I have never seen this dude in my life.”
In the video posted by Choe, the man can be seen holding a baseball bat and raising his middle finger to the camera.
When Choe confronts him and says he has “every right to be here,” the man replies, “That’s invasion of privacy, assh*le.”
Responding officers placed the man in handcuffs and escorted him to a police van. One officer then told Choe that the man has an active warrant.
Court documents identified the suspect as 47-year-old Jeffrey McMillan, according to the Post Millennial.
McMillan was reportedly convicted in the past of multiple charges, including assault in the third degree, domestic violence and two counts of violation of a no-contact order.
Choe, a journalist of over 20 years, is currently a senior fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty, continuing his coverage of homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative.
Last March, he made headlines after claiming he was fired from ABC-affiliate KOMO News for covering a Proud Boys rally in Olympia, which sparked accusations that he was promoting “white supremacist propaganda.”
Last Thursday, McMillan’s public defender allegedly called Choe “a right-wing agitator like the folks over at Project Veritas” and that he “provoked a response and got a response.”
“Victim blaming at its finest. This is by far the craziest defense (lie) that I have ever heard,” Choe tweeted.
McMillan was ultimately released on Friday afternoon.
According to Choe, prosecutors need to make a charging decision in 72 hours after the arrest, but “investigators did not get them all the evidence needed to do that.”
This maniac is back on the streets because of a technicality! Prosecutors say in order to hold someone, they have to make a charging decision within 72 hours of the arrest. But investigators did not get them all the evidence needed to do that. Apparently, it’s still in the works. So they had to cut him loose! Insane. I’m not blaming SPD, but it appears the lack of staff contributed to this situation. Still waiting for an official explanation from @SeattlePD. BTW this has happened several times before in other cases.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.