Police: Fight over group bar tab ends in broken neck

SEATTLE -- Nothing turns friends and coworkers into murderous Hunger Games contestants faster than trying to figure out how to split up a group bar tab at the end of the night. It's the worst part of every night out, and last week it resulted in one man suffering a broken neck at a Belltown club.

Around 1 a.m. March 5, a group was celebrating a woman's birthday in the VIP section of a club in the 2200 block of Western Avenue when it came time to settle the tab, according to the Seattle Police Department's report for the incident.

Everyone put in cash except for one man, who put down his credit card, taking the cash in exchange. According to the report, the man became upset because he felt he was owed more money and started demanding it.

One of the other partygoers attempted to calm the man down, saying it will work out in the end. But when he refused to give the man any more cash, the man tackled him into a table, according to the report.

The victim hit his back and neck on the edge of the table, and the two were immediately separated by friends and then security staff.

The victim went home with a sore neck and back, which only got worse in the following days. According to the report, an x-ray taken March 7 showed a broken vertebrae in his neck.

The victim met with officers March 8 to report the incident while wearing a neck brace. He said he had broken the same part of his neck earlier in the year, but it had been healing.

Officers spoke with the manager of the nightclub, who was aware of the fight, but were unable to get surveillance footage of the incident.

Pro tip for avoiding broken necks and/or police investigations in the future: Make sure you bring cash when you go out, or arrange for separate tabs ahead of time.