Man assaulted with hammer and woman hit with car in Pike Place Market road rage incident

SEATTLE — Two people fought with a hammer during a road rage incident at the Pike Place Market on Easter Sunday, according to the Seattle Police Department.

The violent and chaotic string of events started at 5:15 p.m., in front of the famous public market sign. Authorities say, a total of three men were involved in the mayhem, but it started with just two: a 32-year-old in a Toyota SUV and a 45-year-old man in a van who got into an argument.

During the argument, the van driver threw water toward the Toyota driver.

Witnesses said that’s when things got physical.

According to police, the 32-year-old shoved the 45-year-old to the ground and started driving away. They said the 45-year-old picked themselves up and struck the 32-year-old through their open car window.

That’s when a new man entered the mix: A 54-year-old, behind the wheel of a Mazda.

When the Mazda driver and the Toyota driver parked their cars, the Mazda driver exited his car with a hammer and approached the Toyota, smashing its back window.

That’s when officers said the 32-year-old used the same hammer in retaliation, smashing a windshield. Then things got even more violent when police say the 54-year-old then drove his car directly into the man and an uninvolved woman, who works nearby.

The Toyota driver got up and began to hit the Mazda driver with the hammer through his open window.

When the police arrived, officers arrested both the Toyota and Mazda drivers’ for assault.

Michael Buchwald of Ghost Alley Espresso, said an employee of his saw it happen and they’re friends with the woman who was hit.

“It was very disturbing to hear,” said Buchwald. “I always tell my employees to keep their head on a swivel.”

Buchwald said he gave them the day off and right now they’re spending time with the woman at Harborview Medical Center.

“I don’t remember an incident that’s happened like this,” said Buchwald.

This incident is resurrecting a conversation from months ago: Should cars be allowed at the market in the first place?

Rhonda Faison, owner of Rojo, an organic juice store, said she sees arguments at the market frequently.

“People will get out and start cursing at each other. Sometimes, they’re getting ready to ram another car in,” said Faison. “I just want it to be safe for everyone to come down and it’s not and after that tragedy I hope something does change.”

Faison thinks the cobblestone street should be for folks on foot only, with a couple of exceptions: delivery trucks and access for those living with disabilities.

Steven Stimpson, who sells seafood a couple of spaces over – disagrees.

“The biggest problem I have with this being just a footzone is that all the businesses require deliveries that come on four wheels,” said Stimpson.