The bizarre incident unfolded Friday at about 12:45 a.m. when the sailor, identified as Tyler Bradley of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, got into a cab after leaving a bar in East Bremerton.
The sailor was intoxicated and needed a ride back to the local Kitsap naval base, said Bremerton Police Sgt. Kevin Crane.
"The bouncers wanted to get rid of him. They threw him in my cab. They had issues with him," the cab driver told KOMO News.
As the taxi drove off, Bradley maneuvered himself behind the driver and suddenly wrapped his legs around the man's throat in an attempt to strangle him, Crane said.
The driver struggled with the sailor, while trying to bring the cab to a stop. At that point, the sailor removed his legs and allegedly grabbed the driver with his arms.
"At first, he had his legs around me - I fought that off. And then all of a sudden, he had his arms around me to strangle me and stuff," said the driver.
Meanwhile, a police officer from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was driving in the area off-base and spotted the taxi stopped in the middle of traffic.
As the officer pulled over to investigate, she saw Bradley attacking the driver, Crane said. The officer called for backup and ordered the sailor to get out of the cab.
As Bradley exited the taxi, a Bremerton police officer quickly arrived at the scene.
The sailor continued to fight with police, kicking and screaming as he was placed under arrest. He eventually was handcuffed and booked into the Kitsap County jail for investigation of assault.
The taxi driver sustained some minor injuries to his throat, but was otherwise OK and did not require treatment, Crane said.
Bremerton police are continuing to investigate the attack.