Accused of DUI and Other Crimes, Caffe Vita's McConnell Denies Bribing, Assaulting Driver

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McConnell says he didn't assault the driver he hit while allegedly drunk.
When word broke that Caffe Vita and Via Tribunali owner Mike McConnell had been arrested for DUI, hit-and-run, and assault for an incident near Seattle University, the police report painted McConnell as having: (a) offered the driver of the vehicle he hit $1,500 to walk away from the incident without involving police, and (b) punching him when he refused to do so.

Over at the Daily Weekly, McConnell, speaking on the record about the incident for the first time to Rick Anderson, provides a dramatically different version of events. Writes Anderson: "McConnell hit the other, older car stopped for a light, but there was zero damage to both cars. The attorney (McConnell's corporate attorney, who'd lunched with McConnell and was following behind him enroute to one of their businesses), stopped and became a witness as well. The other driver, on his way to work at a pizza parlor, smelled the 'couple of beers' McConnell says he'd just drank and told McConnell - who was driving a newer Mercedes - he'd forget the incident for $1,500. He offered to go to a cash machine with McConnell and the attorney at that moment. McConnell refused."

"[McConnell] did not punch or assault the other driver, he says," Anderson continues. "He legally parked his car at the scene and walked away - a mistake, he admits. Police tracked the car which is registered to his coffee business, where they learned McConnell was at one of his eateries, and arrested him. At the East Precinct, he refused a Datamaster breath test, was booked, and later bailed out. His version is contrary to the other driver's. A Municipal Court judge will decide which is the more accurate."

A pre-trial hearing is set for May 3.

 
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