A group of Seattle’s Pridefest attendees pushed a Christian street preacher to the ground and punched him repeatedly at the festival last week. The entire altercation was captured on camera. (Warning: Includes expletive language and disturbing violence.)
The preacher held a sign saying “Repent or Else” and “Jesus Saves From Sin,” which condemned materialism, pornography, and drug use, among others forms of “idolatry”; he was joined by another preacher holding a Bible. The confrontation began as a group of Pridefest attendees, who appear upset with the preachers’ message, began verbally and physically harassing the preachers.
After pushing away the preacher with the Bible and telling him to leave, the attendees swarmed the man with the sign. The attackers punched and kicked the preacher multiple times while he was on the ground before police arrived.
Police arrested the most prominent assailant in the video, 36-year-old Jason Queree, who was shirtless throughout most of the altercation. ABC affiliate KOMO reports that Queree has been arrested 29 times since 1995 and convicted for nine felonies, including theft and forgery.
In the YouTube description, the person who shot the video, who remained anonymous in an interview with KOMO, stated that while he didn’t agree with the preachers, he defended their right to voice their views and condemned the actions of the attackers. “I think it is tragic that some of the people who justifiably want tolerance in their life deny that same tolerance to others,” he said of the attackers.