Last night started out like any normal Friday night in Juneau. However, it ended with me getting sucker punched in the face by a legislative staffer. After having a drink at the Triangle, I headed over to the Viking with some people. There were quite a few staffers hanging out, enjoying some drinks, and singing some karaoke. Definitely my kind of night out!
As I walked in I saw the staffer (known as staffer X), who works for Representative Josh Revak (R – Anchorage). He greeted me and told me he wanted to buy me a drink. We went over to the bar and ordered some Vodka Red Bulls. As the night went on we continued to drink and hang out with other staffers. We each bought a few rounds. Everyone was having fun.
At one point I was talking to two staffers at a table. Staffer X was also at the table. He took out his phone and appeared to start filming me and the female staffer I was talking to. He has been known to do this at bars in Juneau. So I asked him if he was filming and told him to stop if he was. He did not respond. I again told him to stop fucking filming. Finally I said, “Hey man, what the fuck! Stop fucking filming us.” The next thing I knew he had punched me in the face!
It happened so fast I didn’t really have time to react. I didn’t even see it coming. He then snapped and attempted to attack me. He had the thousand yard stare. Luckily, the other staffer, a male who was sober, got in between us and prevented him from attacking me. If he had not been there I think it would have been a lot worse. I’m a big guy and can defend myself but staffer X is also a big guy and former military.
Within maybe 30 seconds, two of the bouncers came over. They grabbed him and kicked him out of the bar. Witnesses told them what happened. They asked me if I wanted to press charges. I told them I did not.
I was honestly in disbelief with what had happened. He hit me hard enough where I was pretty sure I would have a black eye. I woke up today and that is exactly what I had. I got a text from staffer X this morning saying he was, “Sorry for the miscommunication and shit got out of hand.” I feel like he very clearly communicated his message. He also apologized for hitting me.
I also got a call from Representative Revak this morning. He said staffer X told him what happened and that he felt really bad about it. Josh also apologized for what happened. Josh is a friend of mine. I supported him when he ran for office. Both Josh and staffer X served in the Army together and fought in Iraq. I understand they have both been through a lot. It’s not my place to say what Josh should do. I don’t want staffer X to lose his job but I do feel there needs to be some kind of consequence. I think staffer X needs some help. If the other staffer had not been there to intervene I think the outcome could have been a lot worse than a black eye.
This is not the first time I have been hit by a staffer. Last year after legislative skits a staffer came up to me at SALT and punched me in the collarbone. Very loose. He was upset about something I had written about another staffer. Here is a link to an article on that. Never a dull moment in Juneau.
Update: I removed the name of the staffer from the article on June 3, 2020. It was pointed out to me that when he was googled this was the first thing that came up. He no longer lives in Alaska. I don’t think this should have to follow him around for the rest of his life.