Armed or not, use what you've got
Lighter fluid also landed on the overcoat of Gus Jones, an 82-year-old who lives in the Central District.
Jones, who is recuperating from a broken hip, was downtown after visiting his doctor.
After the assailant grabbed his shoulder, the elderly man whacked the attacker once with his gray, metal cane.
"I smelled that lighter fluid and hit him. I cussed him out," Jones said. "I bent my cane."
The quick reaction of an unarmed elderly man, combined with those of the two men who chased the attacker down and held him for police, are comforting to me, knowing that this happened very, very near my office. In fact, I was at Gelatiamo about an hour prior for an off-site meeting over coffee.
Given the detatched, reserved attitude downtown workers often manifest - unfortunately, maintaining detachment is a necessity around here - I'm glad to know that some folks haven't become so apathetic as to let this go without reaction.
(And by the way, Gelatiamo is an excellent place to stop for delicious coffee and exotic pastries, or a smooth, creamy gelato when it's warm, if you happen to be in downtown Seattle. I guarantee you'll enjoy it, assuming you aren't flambéed while you're there.)