Comedian attacked with baseball bat on stage in Renton
RENTON, Wash. -- A stand-up act at a local bar came to a sudden stand-still Monday night when a man rushed the stage swinging a baseball bat. The comedian never saw it coming and had his skull fractured trying to deliver his next joke.
Dylan Avila has faced tough crowds before. He also knows how to handle hecklers, but what happened to him at The Local 907 in Renton is no joke.
"Hecklers can't faze me," Avila said. "I got hit with a baseball bat."
Avila was the master of ceremonies for a stand-up comedy show and was just about to introduce the next comedian to the stage. Just then, a man ran up with a baseball bat swinging for Avila's head, according to witnesses. Two blows connected, knocking him to the floor.
"We were shocked because that's just something that doesn't happen on a comedy stage," said Jamal Harrington, a fellow comic who jumped up with the rest of the audience to help Avila and also take down the attacker.
According to witnesses, the man with the bat had tried out a stand-up routine a few weeks before. In it, he claimed to be Jesus Christ, but apparently the bit bombed with audiences.
"It was offensive on every level. And I don't get offended easily. I'm a comic," Avila said.
Each week the man pushed the same routine, Avila said, so he banned him from the show. Whether that is the motive for the attack is unclear.
"A heckler here or there, that's one thing. but this was something completely different," Harrington said.
Avila has three young children and knows how lucky he is to not suffer brain damage - or worse. If nothing else, Avila hopes his trip to the hospital will give him some fresh material, and hopefully a few laughs on stage.
Avila hopes to be out of the hospital by Thursday. A benefit show for him is scheduled for The Rendezvous in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood on Saturday night.
The suspect is in jail on a no-bail hold. Charges are pending.