Police: Man attacks panhandler over ribald sign

SEATTLE -- A regular panhandler in downtown Seattle was attacked by a man who apparently found the victim's sign too ribald for his tastes Monday night, according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to the police report for the incident, the victim was "flying cardboard" in the 1500 block of Seventh Avenue shortly after 10 p.m. when a man walked up and started arguing with him about his sign.

The victim -- whose sign reads, "I need money for a fat [expletive]" -- later told officers he has seen the man around but doesn't know him. He said the man often complains about his sign.

According to the report, the argument escalated, and the suspect started hitting the victim over the head and on the upper back with a blunt object. The victim believes the weapon was a hammer, but a witness said it was a bottle.

The attacker ran away before officers arrived, and the victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.