by D’Leereeus Johnson, new DP staff
Monday, May 7th, 2012,
(SEATTLE) —Kathleen Burkett joined the Occupy Wall Street movement last October to struggle for “social justice, peace and equality.” But when a fellow Occupier embarked on his own struggle to have sex with the 23-year-old Bellingham native Sunday morning, Burkett drew the line on desiring peace (and a piece).
Instead, say Seattle police, Burkett drew a .357 Magnum and fired, blowing away her alleged attempted rapist, 28-year-old Samuel “Scrubby” McLean’s chances at carnal love that evening, along with the better portion of his inner thigh and scrotum. The incident comes during what authorities consider a “crucial simmering down” period, a week after Occupy protesters celebrated May Day (May 1st), smashing cars, store windows, starting fires and assaulting police officers throughout Seattle and other major cities.
According to Burkett’s statement to police, she was camping illegally in Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park when around 1:10 AM she heard her tent’s zipper unzipping. Burkett lurched from her sleeping bag to inspect the noise, but came face-to-face with McLean, who by then was in her tent, she claims. Burkett ordered McLean, whom she had met briefly over the past week and only knew him by his nickname “Scrubby,” to leave. According to Burkett, McLean smelled of liquor and body odor, pungent even to fellow Occupiers. McLean began thrusting himself on the 23-year-old, trying to undress her in an attempt to have sex. Burkett said she screamed for “Scrubby” to get off, but he refused. McLean managed to tear off the first of Burkett’s seven layers of clothing before the young activist reached into a backpack next to her and produced a Smith and Wesson .357 handgun.
“After I got the gun out I told (McLean) to get off and go away, but he didn’t,” said Burkett to police. “He just laughed and said, ‘You ain’t gonna do shit, bitch!’ and came at me again. He threw himself on top of me and I don’t know. I froze. I squeezed the trigger. I went deaf from the bang. When my ears cleared I heard (McLean) screaming and whimpering. ”
Police arrived to the park minutes later to find McLean bleeding profusely a few yards outside Burkett’s tent, a small crowd standing around him and Burkett crying, gun still in hand. McLean is currently at Harborview Medical Center in serious but stable condition.
“We arrested both alleged victim and perpetrator,” said Seattle Police Deputy Chief Nick Metz Monday morning to reporters. “We’re not sure of the exact sequence of events, but it appears some sort of attempted sexual altercation took place, and that Mr. McLean emerged from Ms. Burkett’s tent severely wounded from a gunshot to the groin.”
“My sister blew a rapist’s nuts off? Al–right!” exclaimed Burkett’s younger brother, Justin,18, from her family’s home in Bellingham. Burkett’s father has admitted to authorities he gave his daughter a .357 to take with her during her stay with Occupy Seattle. According to Burkett’s father, William, 51, he was concerned for his daughter’s safety after hearing stories of sexual assaults occurring in Occupy encampments across the nation last summer. “In October, Kathy said she wanted to join the movement,” Mr. Burkett told Duh Progressive Monday. “I was like, ‘Not without protection you’re not! You’re a grown woman, yeah, but you got to have some protection,’ especially with those rape stories I heard about.”
Being no fan of guns, Kathleen took the revolver to placate her dad. “She took the pistol anyway. She held it like she was holding a dead rat by its tail,” recalled Mr. Burkett. “She was worried about having the gun without a permit. I told her, ‘Sweetie, God forbid, if you’re in a situation where you ever have to use that thing, you’re not going to care where it came from.”
Seattle police and prosecutors see things rather differently from Bill Burkett. Said Deputy Chief Metz at his press conference Monday, “…I say again, we have both the alleged victim and perpetrator in custody; that is to say Mr. McLean, the victim, and Ms. Burkett, the perpetrator.”
Samuel McLean has a lengthy criminal record, including three counts of aggravated assault, armed robbery, forgery, public masturbation, and two second-degree sexual assaults in 2008. Burkett, on the other hand, has a speeding ticket from 2004. However Deputy Metz said bond has been set for McLean at $250, whereas Burkett is being held without bond. Deputy Chief Metz said his department recommended to the state officials that Burkett be kept in custody until trial. “We believe Ms. Kathleen Burkett to be a dangerous, unpredictable individual,” said Metz. “Ms. Burkett brought a loaded firearm illegally into our progressive city of individuals, and threatened the peaceful, humble individuals of the Occupy Wall Street–Seattle movement with her paranoia, vigilantism, and disregard for the public safety,” Metz added. “And we all know who makes up ‘the public’ –individuals.”
William Burkett has also been placed under house arrest, charged with unlawful transfer of a firearm under Washington State criminal code BS-1984, carrying a $180,000 fine and/or 17 years in prison. Said Mr. Burkett Monday, “I don’t understand why we’re the bad guys, and a man with a record like (McLean) can be let go for 250 bucks. I guess rapists have feelings, too.”
Compounding the Burkett’s family’s woes is the lawsuit McLean’s attorneys say they will filing any day. Speaking on behalf of the bedridden McLean, attorney David Starells said his client plans on suing the Burketts for $40,000,000 for emotional and psychological stress, medical bills, and for the surgical implant of new titanium steel testicles for McLean.
“Mr. McLean was a star among Occupy Seattle,” said Occupy Seattle organizer and Huffington Post contributor Mark Taylor-Canfield Sunday. “He was one of our most active members. He was filled with passion and put up stiff resistance to corporate greed and police brutality.”
Taylor-Canfield said until McLean’s return, things won’t be the same for Occupy Seattle. “We can’t wait for his return,” Taylor-Canfield said. “Mr. McLean will bring back the brass balls attitude this movement needs again."