Fan Accuses CenturyLink Security of Unnecessary Roughness During Saturday’s Seahawks Game

Not every Seahawks fan who attended Saturday’s playoff win over the Saints left CenturyLink Field happy.

According to a recent post on Craigslist, at least two Hawks fans claim to have had a run-in with the stadium’s security staff, resulting in spilled nachos, a rough take down, a bitten tongue, and a whole lot of disbelief and anger.

Here’s the pertinent complaint from Craigslist:

Yesterday at the Seahawks game my boyfriend Quenten and I were walking back to our seats when a big play happened and we slowed our walk as we were obviously engaged in the game. The King County Sheriffs (hired as field security) told us we needed to keep moving and Quenten asked if we could just finish watching the last few seconds of the play before starting the climb to our seats. The Officer said no and told us to keep moving. We obeyed and started walking again as Quenten disappointedly muttered a remark “ Aw man, you guys are wack” but we kept walking thinking we’re not mad were still at a Hawks game no big deal. Next thing we know Quenten was grabbed on the shoulder - I turned to see why and see one officer grabbing his arm and the nachos he was carrying for me went flying everywhere. The other Officer came up simultaneously on the other side and in one fluid motion they had Quenten tackled by both arms as they proceeded to lift him and throw him from feet to chest down to the concrete while yelling “Stop Resisting!” Luckily he lifted his head before he hit the ground because the throw would have smashed his face, unfortunately he wasn’t able to avoid biting through the side of his tongue. Quenten asked why they were doing this and they said it was because he didn’t stop when he told him to; but all we had heard was the Officer and his partner telling us to move forward before we attempted to walk away.

As he was on the ground one of the Officers kept putting his knee in Quenten’s back saying again “Stop Resisting.” Quenten said “I’m not resisting!” and that’s when he whispered in his ear “Shut up, stop talking.” I think it was at that point he realized one of the fans overhead was recording the incident. I asked what he did to deserve this and they told me that he “Assaulted a police officer” even though Quenten was told it was because he was “resisted stopping when told to stop.” They said that when they grabbed him they said stop, but with the roar of the stadium it’s hard to say.

They then cuffed him up tight and walked him out of the stadium and told him he was kicked out and “lucky he wasn’t arrested.”

According to the post, the couple was booted from the stadium just after halftime. They’re looking for anyone who might have witnessed the altercation or videotaped it. According to the post, the incident happened near section 148 and 149, and the last names of the security officers involved were Cavell and Madsen. “The way those nachos flew when Quenten was tackled it would have been a hard incident to miss,” the post reads.

UPDATE: Danielle Gatsos is the fan who wrote the Craigslist complaint. She tells Seattle Weekly: “We have not heard from any witnesses yet. We asked the Clink today if we can acquire security footage and the official report and were told they would take a look when they ‘had a chance.’”

“It was a pretty severe reaction,” Gatsos says of the way the off-duty cops pounced on her boyfriend. After logging a complaint with CenturyLink’s staff after the altercation, she adds that getting to the bottom of the matter “doesn’t seem like a priority” to them.

For the King County Sheriff’s Office, the reaction may be different. Seattle Weekly was able to contact Sheriff John Urquhart this morning, who confirmed that the agency does have a deputy Cavell, but no deputy Madsen. Seattle Police Department Spokesperson Sean Whitcomb says his agency doesn’t have a Madsen either. According to Urquhart, “The deputies (and SPD officers) working Century (or Safeco) are doing so off-duty, and are paid by the respective organizations. Nevertheless, they must comport themselves as if they were on duty and are subject to all our policy requirements.” This being the case, Urquhart says, “I’ve forwarded the complaint as listed on Craigslist to our Internal Investigations Unit for follow-up.”

“Usually in these situations (especially when they don’t come directly to us) there is more to the story,” writes Urquhart via email. “But that’s why I sent it to our Internal Investigations. To find out what happened, one way or the other.”

We’ve reached out to CenturyLink Field, which employees its security team via a private company, for comment. We have yet to hear back from them. At the moment Urquhart says there’s no way for the King County Sheriff’s Office to confirm which off-duty officers were working the game Saturday, while adding “I’m sure once the case is signed out to an investigating sergeant, that will be one of the first calls he/she makes.”

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