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Thursday, August 26, 2004 - Page updated at 12:39 P.M.
Shock jock Tom Leykis says he was attacked in Seattle
By Mark Rahner
Leykis said yesterday that the attack left him with 17 stitches above his right eye. His call-in show originates in Los Angeles and airs afternoons on Seattle's KQBZ-FM (100.7). Reached by phone in Los Angeles, Leykis said the attack occurred during one of his regular trips to broadcast from Seattle, where for several years he's maintained a large fan base.
Leykis said he had stepped outside of the Five Point Cafe, 415 Cedar St., near Fisher Plaza, about 3:45 a.m. when a man began talking to him and another kicked him in the head. "I was minding my own business. It was a person who knew who I was from the radio."
Seattle police records provide more detail: According to Leykis and a witness with him, he was "not feeling well" when one of the alleged assailants photographed him outside the Five Point bar and went back inside to show the photo to two other men.
The witness saw this, paid the bill and went back outside to check on Leykis. Two of the men followed her out, according to the report. One of the men said to Leykis, "I called your show once and you called me" a name. "You had no right to do that." Then a man standing to Leykis' left kicked him in the face. The blow knocked him to his knees, leaving his right knee scraped and bruised.
The two men fled, while a third approached the taxi in which Leykis and the witness were leaving and apologized, the report says. Leykis received treatment from a police aid car at his hotel but needed further treatment at Swedish Medical Center.
The men's images may have been captured on video. Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said Leykis and the witness have viewed security-camera footage with the Five Point staff. The bar owner wouldn't comment on the attack.
Leykis has enjoyed high ratings among male listeners for his blunt talk, mainly on gender issues. Visiting for a Seattle Times profile in August 2000, Leykis often was greeted like a rock star by women asking him to sign their breasts and men hollering the show's familiar greeting, "Helloooooo, Tom!"
But the host has his share of detractors and has made a sport of antagonizing them. Leykis routinely does shows in which he only takes calls from listeners who hate him, takes on callers in "Ask the Atheist" segments, and has singled out Seattle men as the world's biggest wimps.
His other controversial stunts have included revealing the names of a Seattle woman who tried to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge, an accused child molester in SeaTac and former schoolteacher Mary K. Letourneau's then-underage rape victim.
But such attacks are rare. Leykis said he had never been attacked by a listener before. He's looking for information about the assailants and asking people with tips to call his office at 310-840-4444.
Management at KQBZ would not comment.
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