A Kent man has been charged with second-degree assault after he allegedly sucker-punched a Minnesota Vikings fan during a game last November at CenturyLink Field.
William D. Van Meveren, 34, was arrested after the Nov. 4 incident, but was released pending further investigation. He was charged last week, according to charging documents filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The victim, Ty Copp, 34, attended the game with his wife, Corinne Whitney-Copp. Copp, a Vikings fan, was reportedly engaged in “good-natured joking” with Seahawks fans seated nearby throughout the game, according to charging documents. With the Seahawks ahead (the team would eventually beat the Vikings 30-20), Copp and his wife decided to leave early to avoid traffic, the documents say.
The couple had left Section 122 of CenturyLink when someone “sucker-punched” Copp in the face, the documents allege. Copp fell backwards and struck his head on the concrete, losing consciousness.
Copp didn’t see the assailant, but several witnesses identified Van Meveren and pointed him out to security officer Quentin Coleman, according to the documents. As Coleman followed the man, he turned back and told Coleman, “Don’t try to stop me,” the documents allege.
Coleman flagged down a Seattle police officer, who detained Van Meveren, the documents say.
A witness, identified as James Roberts, told police he saw Copp walking up the stadium steps when he shook hands with another man with whom he had been heckling back and forth during the game, according to the documents. Copp said, “Good game. You guys got us,” Roberts told police.
Roberts said Copp then shook hands with a second man and had a “small conversation” that seemed friendly, according to the documents.
“Out of nowhere,” the witness said, another man, identified as Van Meveren, “sucker punched (Copp) and down the stairs the victim went,” the charges allege.
Copp suffered a broken nose, concussion and possible nerve damage, according to the documents.
According to the documents, Van Meveren claims he was walking down the stairs at the stadium when a fist came toward his face, grazing his chin. He said he responded by punching the man in front of him. The documents say he is 6-feet-1 and 250 pounds.