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Originally published June 8, 2010 at 2:03 PM | Page modified June 9, 2010 at 7:56 AM

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The great maple bar caper: Seahawks' Golden Tate caught in 3 a.m. visit to Top Pot Doughnuts

Seahawks rookie Golden Tate was issued a warning by Bellevue police for eating maple bars at Top Pot Doughnuts after it was closed.

Seattle Times staff reporter

RENTON — Seahawks rookie Golden Tate was a little late for National Doughnut Day, which was last Friday.

And he arrived a little too early for Top Pot Doughnuts cafe in Bellevue. It doesn't open until 7 a.m. on Saturdays.

So when Tate and a friend found their way into the cafe at about 3 a.m. on Saturday, timing became a problem and precipitated a visit from the Bellevue Police officers and a warning for trespassing.

So what prompted all the trouble? Maple bars. Freshly baked.

"They're irresistible," Tate said. "It was kind of a foolish mistake that won't happen again."

At least not while the store is closed.

"If you ever want some maple bars, that's the place to go," he said.

Somewhere, Homer Simpson just drooled.

Tate, 21, was neither arrested nor cited. He was given a warning, said Officer Carla Iafrate, the public-information officer for Bellevue Police.

Officers determined Tate and his friend got access via a back door to the cafe that was left open. That door opened to a hallway residents have access to, and Tate lives in the building where Top Pot is located.

Mark Klebeck, co-founder of Top Pot Doughnuts, said in a telephone interview the bakers followed company protocol in calling police. Klebeck said once it was determined Tate lived in the building, it lessened the concerns over the situation.

"We're just happy that it wasn't more serious," Klebeck said.

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No charges were pressed; a warning was administered. It was just the case of two men tempted by the smell of sweet treats from a doughnut shop that didn't yet happen to be open. Klebeck joked he wished the cafe was open 24 hours.

And while Seahawks coach Pete Carroll questioned Tate's time management, there was no issues with his taste.

"I'm not disappointed in a guy being in a doughnut shop when they've got maple bars like Top Pot has," Pete Carroll said. "However, under the circumstances I think they were closed or they were trying to close or something like that. So that's definitely one. We talked about it, addressed it and he's most remorseful about it and all that.

"I do understand the allure of the maple bars."

The Seahawks announced earlier this year an agreement that Top Pot Doughnuts and coffee would be sold at Qwest Field during Seahawks and Sounders games.

Tate was chosen by Seattle in the second round of the NFL draft in April. He said a Top Pot doughnut was one of the first things he tried upon arriving in Seattle. After Tuesday's practice, he apologized to his teammates, coaches and Top Pot Doughnuts for the incident.

"I'm very embarrassed to even have my name be a part of this," Tate said. "Before now, I've never had some trouble in any type of school or anything. I'd rather learn on this than have something a few months or years down the road that's a lot bigger and me being arrested or cited for something.

"So this is definitely a lesson learned for me, and next time, I'm just going to have my buddy go in and buy them instead."

Of course, that would require waiting until the store opens.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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