Most of the media coverage of the DV One assault case has focused on the he-said-she-said nature of the story. But the Seattle DJ—who will go to trial March 19 on charges of assaulting a police officer—has been in similar circumstances before. Just three years ago he was involved in another assault case in which his version of events differed substantially from that of the police.
The more recent incident occurred last September, when DV One (real name: Toby Campbell) allegedly assaulted Officer Daina Boggs while she was assigned to patrol a high-school football game at Memorial Stadium. Boggs tried to direct two girls—one of whom was Campbell's 14-year-old daughter—out of traffic when Campbell allegedly charged Boggs, pushed her twice, struck her multiple times in the face, grabbed her by her shirt, and then put her in a "bear hug." Another officer had to Taser Campbell twice to subdue him, according to police statements.
But Campbell says it's the police who jumped him without provocation. He says on his Web site that when he saw his daughter detained by police, he ran over to find out why—at which point Boggs blocked him, pulled out her flashlight menacingly, and called all the officers in the vicinity for backup. Campbell claims he put up his hands and turned away, but was subsequently slammed to the ground by two officers, handcuffed, kicked in the head approximately 20 times, and berated before being Tasered. The incident left him with a bloody face, swollen eyes, bruises on his body, and burn marks from the Taser gun.
DV One, who has been a popular Seattle DJ since the mid-'90s, spinning at the Yo Son! hip-hop nights and serving as DJ at Seattle Seahawks' games this past season, has been rallying community members to his defense. His supporters are planning to go to the King County Courthouse on the first day of the trial to protest against "police brutality."
The current case recalls another one three years ago. Then, Campbell (who went by Toby Christian at the time) and two acquaintances, Christopher Lundquist and Lamont Sallier, were charged with second-degree assault and intimidation (both of which are felonies). According to SPD Detective Dennis Hossfeld, Lundquist was a "major, major thief" with ties to a motorcycle chop shop. After he was arrested, Lundquist came to believe that a fourth man, Yusuf Nur, had been informing on him.
According to police reports, Lundquist, Sallier, and Campbell confronted Nur in the parking lot of Renton Motorcycles at 11:10 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2004. Lundquist accused Nur of being a "snitch," and said that he was going to "smoke" him. A brawl ensued, during which, accord-ing to the police report, Campbell hit Nur in the face. Nur was then knocked down and kicked in the head, chipping several teeth.
In an interview last week, Nur said he eventually managed to escape and ran back into the bike shop's restaurant, where he armed himself with a ketchup bottle and dialed 911 on his cell phone. The three attackers followed him inside, and when Sallier saw Nur with the phone to his ear, he punched the phone loose. Campbell picked it up and the men fled before cops arrived, according to the police report.
Campbell claimed in his sentencing brief that while he witnessed the incident, he wasn't actually a participant. "All [Nur's] claims were just garbage," Campbell told me last week. "I knew the people beating up on the guy; I semi-knew the guy getting beat up. [Nur] saw me there, so when he talked to the police, he said, 'I saw DV One.' Then it went from 'DV One was there' to 'DV One did something in the fight.'"
"Why would I make anything up?" says Nur. "He was involved. He definitely didn't instigate it, but there was minor aggression on his part, and I emphasize minor."
Rather than go to trial, however, Campbell pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and received a six-month deferred jail sentence. After performing community service, paying a $500 fine, making good on restitution for Nur's phone, and staying out of trouble, the charges were dismissed.
Campbell says he took the plea out of "risk management." "Everybody knows the last case was baloney," he says. "In hindsight, I should've taken it to trial, but I didn't."
As for next week's trial, Campbell says a plea bargain is out of the question this time. "After all the drama and pain I went through, there's no way I can take a plea for something I didn't do," he says.