Looks like lot's of bad decision making here...


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yorick
June 29, 2006, 05:33 PM
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003092953_copshooting29m.html

Kent police to investigate shooting involving off-duty Seattle officer

By Sara Jean Green and Steve Miletich
Seattle Times staff reporters

Kent police, who have taken over the investigation into the shooting involving an off-duty Seattle police officer, will have to sift through several sharply different versions of what happened on that chaotic night last Saturday in Post Alley at Pike Place Market.

Depending on who provides the account, veteran Officer Zsolt Dornay was either provoked into defending himself after being assaulted by a group of angry men, or he recklessly rode his motorcycle into the crowded, narrow street, striking a woman and then shooting an innocent man when others came to her aid.

On Wednesday, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske announced that an outside agency, Kent police, would investigate the incident in which Seattle criminal-defense attorney James F. Walker was wounded and Dornay was beaten. Kerlikowske said the move does not indicate a lack of confidence in his detectives' ability to conduct a thorough and objective investigation. He noted that Seattle police have arrested their fellow officers in the past.

"My concern is that we have the most thorough and complete investigation," Kerlikowske said. "We'll go where the facts lead us and make our decisions based on the information revealed by the investigation."

Kerlikowske's announcement came on the same day two independent eyewitnesses gave their own accounts of what happened the night Dornay was assaulted and Walker was shot.

In certain respects their versions are significantly different from what Seattle police and Walker's attorney have said happened.

Also, Dornay's sister, attorney Margita Dornay, who didn't witness the incident but spoke with her brother about it, offered a version similar to the police account.

Police have not yet interviewed Dornay, 37, and Walker, 52. Dornay is on paid administrative leave, and Walker remains hospitalized. Dornay could not be reached for comment, and Walker declined to comment.

On Friday night, Post Alley a narrow, one-way alley open to northbound traffic was crowded with people in the block between Stewart and Virginia streets, said Patrick McAleese, the owner of Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, which is located in the alley. It's not unusual for vehicles to drive through, even when it's choked with people on warm summer nights, said McAleese, who didn't witness the fight or hear the gunshots that rang out at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Police have said Dornay was in street clothes and riding his personal motorcycle.

According to Margita Dornay, the officer was meeting friends after work and proceeded through Post Alley so slowly that he essentially walked his motorcycle through the crowd. Margita Dornay said a woman, whom she identified as Walker's paralegal, took issue with the officer riding his motorcycle in the alley and stepped in front of him, refusing to let him pass.

After identifying himself as an officer, he attempted to retrieve his badge from a rear compartment when the woman kicked his motorcycle over, Margita Dornay said. He righted the bike and the woman again pushed it over, she said.

Margita Dornay said her brother told her that Walker then approached him and said: "I hate your stupid [expletive] helmet. Your helmet is dumb."

Walker grabbed the officer's arm and the officer shook him off, Margita Dornay said. While still facing the woman, her brother recounted, he was jumped from behind and knocked to the ground, Margita Dornay said.

"My brother lost consciousness from being kicked in the head," Margita Dornay said. When he came to, "he thought he was going to die and not see his kids grow up."

That's when he pulled his gun, she said.

"Someone screamed, 'He's got a gun!' [and the other assailants] backed off, except Mr. Walker, who was winding up for another kick," Margita Dornay said.

Walker's attorney, Michael Frost, disputed Margita Dornay's account, challenging her credibility and pointing to a pending action against her law license.

"I can tell you it's completely hogwash," he said, referring to her description of Saturday's incident. "It's just untrue."

Margita Dornay acknowledged she is now appealing a recommendation by the state bar association last year to suspend her legal license for three years after finding she lied to a judge in her testimony during a former boyfriend's divorce proceeding. She said Wednesday she is appealing to the state Supreme Court because she made her testimony under duress and that the boyfriend, a King County sheriff's deputy, had threatened her.

Frost contends Dornay was revving his engine, driving aggressively and the altercation began after he hit the woman with some part of his motorcycle. Frost also said the other men assaulted Dornay after the officer shot Walker.

Witness Ben Blankenship, 30, said he and others in his band had just wrapped up a show at The Pink Door when they saw a motorcycle enter the alley. As the motorcyclist was attempting to leave the alley, Blankenship said, he was confronted by a woman, who was belligerent and who spoke of her "pedestrian rights." The woman was irate, refused to let Dornay pass, and sat on the front of his bike, Blankenship said.

Dornay put the bike in gear and drove 25 to 30 feet with the woman perched on front, he said. At some point, Blankenship said, Dornay slammed the woman into a garage wall and four to six guys jumped on Dornay, knocking him to the ground and kicking and stomping him.

Walker, who did not appear to be associated with the men who beat Dornay, looked as though he was "trying to break up the fight" when Dornay began firing, Blankenship said.

Another eyewitness, who asked not to be identified because he was concerned about speaking out against police, said he saw Dornay enter the alley and the officer was not driving recklessly. Jackie Roberts, owner of The Pink Door in Post Alley, confirmed that the man had witnessed the shooting along with Blankenship.

The man said the woman confronted Dornay, talking about her "pedestrian rights," and Dornay told her it was legal for him to drive there. The witness said the officer showed what looked like a police badge to the woman and her male companion and the man commented, "Nice helmet, jerk."

The witness said the woman continued to antagonize the officer and sat on his front fender, then the officer put his motorcycle in gear and drove forward with the woman perched on front. The woman, grasping the windshield, twisted the front of the bike, causing it to fall over, he said.

At that point, Dornay got "very upset," grabbed the woman and shoved her into a garage door, slamming her head, the witness said. A group of men grabbed Dornay, yanking his jacket over his head, the witness said. They then knocked the officer to the ground, kicking and stomping him.

Dornay fired his gun, the witness said, causing the crowd to scatter. The man who had taunted Dornay about his helmet was struck by gunfire, the witness said.

The witness said everyone involved made poor decisions the woman for her initial conduct, Dornay for losing his temper and the assailants for their brutal attack.

"Every one of them ramped it up," he said. "Nobody made a reasonable decision, in my view."

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

Seattle Times staff reporter Joe Mullin and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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ArmedBear
June 29, 2006, 05:37 PM
was either provoked into defending himself after being assaulted by a group of angry men, or he recklessly rode his motorcycle into the crowded, narrow street, striking a woman and then shooting an innocent man when others came to her aid

Given that Seattle has become Moonbat Central, I'd say the smart money is on self-defense, not the other story.

Recklessly riding a motorcycle, hitting a pedestrian, and shooting someone for no apparent reason require someone who is either completely nuts, or REALLY, REALLY high on something a lot stronger than pot or booze.

Now skeet shooting at flying fish, I'd believe.:D

MechAg94
June 29, 2006, 06:12 PM
Yeah, in Texas, attacks like that fully justify self defense with a deadly weapon.

I especially liked how the attorney kept saying she was hit with some part of the motorcycle. In other words, lawyer speak for "not much to speak of, but it sounds real bad this way.

LiquidTension
June 29, 2006, 07:52 PM
Oh, how I LOVE eyewitness accounts. They're always so accurate and true :rolleyes:

Wes Janson
June 29, 2006, 11:46 PM
I have a suspicion the last witnesses' account was the most accurate...

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