A man and his cat caused a pepper spray melee Thursday afternoon at a fast food restaurant on First Hill.
The incident unfolded just before 12:30 PM, when a man, with a cat perched atop his shoulder, walked into a McDonald’s in the 1100 block of Madison Street. Employees immediately recognized the man—who has previously caused problems at the restaurant—and asked him to leave.
The man began to raise a fuss and refused to exit the premises. Another customer stepped in to aid employees in the dispute and also began trying to convince the man to leave.
The man suddenly pulled out a can of pepper spray, leading a restaurant patron to pounce on the cat’s owner. As the customer struggled with the suspect, the can of pepper spray discharged throughout the restaurant. The cat-man and most of the other patrons quickly fled the restaurant.
A short time later, the man returned to gather items he’d dropped inside the store. The restaurant’s manager confronted the man, pulled out his own can of pepper spray, and used it on the cat’s owner.
Officers arrived and spoke with a number of witnesses at the restaurant, but received several conflicting accounts of the incident and were unable to identify a clear instigator in the case. However, police will be requesting trespassing charges for the cat’s owner.
Firefighters transported one patron to the hospital for pepper spray exposure and treated several others customers at the scene. The cat was not seriously injured in the incident.