Though it went out of style decades ago, the fanny pack is a very versatile accessory. The main advantage of the waist-worn pouch is that the wearer can carry any number of compact personal items, leaving his or her hands free for other things ... like fighting security guards at the Social Security Administration office.
Ratliff reportedly headed for the exit, and returned about 10 minutes later having shed his backpack but still sporting the fanny pack. He once again refused to let Tallmadge search his bum bag and headed toward the lobby with the security guard in hot pursuit. Ratliff asked why Tallmadge wasn't checking every visitor's bags, and, upon being informed that bag checks are random, court documents say Ratliff replied, "Well f*** you."
Keith Ratliff in an undated booking photo from the Washington Department of Corrections
The security guard, an ex-Marine and private contractor from the company Paragon Systems, eventually pulled out his pepper spray, at which point Ratliff allegedly "bladed his body into a fighting stance and shook his head side to side as if he were preparing to fight." Whether Ratliff "shaking his head side to side" actually meant "Let's fight," or "No, please don't pepper spray me" is unclear, but court documents say Ratliff tried to flee the premises.
When Tallmadge tried to detain the unruly fanny pack wearer, things got ugly. The pair grappled and fell to the floor, at which point Ratliff reportedly kicked the security guard in the head several times, eventually pinning him down. An office manager at SSA jumped into the fray, freeing one of Tallmadge's arms. Ratliff, however, fought like a cornered badger. According to court documents, he put the security guard in a choke hold and kneed him in the head and back.
Another SSA office worker came to the rescue, and the three federal employees were eventually able to subdue Ratliff and get him in handcuffs. SPD arrived on the scene and arrested Ratliff, and he reportedly refused to explain his side of what happened except to say, "He jumped me. Watch the video, you'll see, he jumped me."
Court documents say that as Ratliff was being hauled off to the federal detention center, he said, "If I had gotten his gun, that mother****** would be dead right now."
Ratliff is now charged with assault on a federal officer or employee, a felony. Federal prosecutors asked a judge to keep Ratliff locked up pending trial because he has "a lengthy criminal history of arrests and convictions going back to 1988. His history indicates he has substance abuse problems and mental health problems. He has failed to appear for court appearances on numerous occasions, and there are currently active warrants for his arrest that are outstanding."
Ratliff's public defender did not return a call seeking comment. A spokesman for the Western Washington U.S. Attorneys Office was unsure what, if anything, Ratliff was carrying in his fanny pack at the time of his arrest.