Man arrested in Seattle after threatening to kill journalist Jonathan Choe with baseball bat

The suspect's public defender claimed Choe was a “right-wing agitator like the folks over at Project Veritas” and that he "provoked a response and got a response."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
A man was arrested on Wednesday after threatening to kill a local journalist with a baseball bat.

According to the Seattle Police Department, at approximately 11:40 am Seattle Police officers were flagged down near the intersection of 3rd Avenue and James Street by Jonathan Choe, 44, Senior Fellow and journalist for the Discovery Institute who stated a man threatened to kill him with a baseball bat.

Choe posted his video of the incident to Twitter and stated that he was “following up on the progress being made to keep tents off the streets.”

“Then I noticed a guy with a mini torch set up trying to light his meth pipe. I go over to interview him. As I am recording, this maniac wielding a baseball bat comes charging at me from across the street saying he wanted to kill me. You can hear the fellas warning me to get out of the area. I have never seen this dude in my life.”

“I immediately take off running and flag down police. As officers looked into his background, they discovered he was wanted on a warrant and arrested him on the spot.”

Responding officers reviewed the video footage of the incident and developed probable cause to arrest the for harassment.

Choe added, “I want to thank these amazing officers for doing their due diligence. And those two fellas really saved the day by warning me to get out. I'm fine. But this was the closest call yet. Parts of downtown are still out of control.”

Officers recovered the baseball bat and the suspect was taken into custody and booked into King County Jail.

Local media outlets covering the story omitted that it was a journalist who was threatened.

According to court documents, the suspect was identified as Jeffrey McMillan, 47, who listed his address as “999 Homeless Ave” in Everett, WA. He had previously been convicted of Assault in the third degree, domestic violence, and two counts of violation of a no-contact order.

Court documents from the previous case said that McMillan used a belt to whip the mother of his two children in front of the kids.

On Feb. 10, 2006, McMillan was sentenced to 29 months for the felony crime and 12 months suspended on the two misdemeanor counts.

McMillan was a no-show for his first court appearance on Thursday. His public defender claimed Choe was a “right-wing agitator like the folks over at Project Veritas” and that he "provoked a response and got a response."

Despite the public defender’s victim blaming, the judge found probable cause in the case, noting that there was a warrant already out for McMillian’s arrest together and the previous convictions.  

The next court hearing is scheduled for Friday.

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