Williams tells Seattle TV station KOMO he's retiring from stand-up comedy
Seattle police charge Williams with assault, harassment and obstruction Sunday
Williams first gained attention as a stand-up comic in 1999
Katt Williams announced the end of his stand-up comedy career Monday, a day after a bizarre incident in Seattle that landed him in jail.
“I’m just going to go ahead and announce my retirement from stand-up,” he told a photographer for Seattle TV station KOMO Monday night. “I’m kinda done.”
Williams was in Seattle to perform over the weekend, but his allegedly aggressive behavior at a Seattle bar and an odd exchange with police ended with him in the King County, Washington, jail Sunday on charges of assault, harassment and obstruction. He was released on bond Monday morning, a jail official said.
He was also involved in incidents in Sacramento and Oakland during comedy tour stops in California in the past month.
KOMO aired an interview with Williams that is said was recorded on a street after he was ejected from a south Lake Union hotel Monday evening.
“I’ve already discussed it with my kids,” Williams said. “I wasn’t really going to do it on a Seattle street. I was going to Los Angeles and do it in the offices of ICM or LiveNation.” ICM is a talent agency, and LiveNation is a concert promotion company.
Williams told the station he would remain in Seattle until a Thursday court date on the criminal charges and while he files a lawsuit against the city “for this $50 million that I want for crippling my reputation as a father and a black man and as a taxpaying citizen and as a person who is not a convicted felon.”
Williams “exchanged words with patrons in the bar, brandished a pool cue at a bar manager and refused to leave the business,” and later refused to show identification to a police officer who had been called to the scene, a Seattle police news release said.
Officer Michael Virgilio wrote in the arrest report that the World Sports Bar manager told him Williams had returned to the bar Sunday after being involved in a dispute with a customer the night before.
“I suppose you’re going to ask me to take my hands out of my pockets, huh?” Williams said to Virgilio, according to the report.
Williams refused to give his name or show an ID, but “yelled out a (California) driver’s license number,” the officer wrote.
When Virgilio warned he would arrest him for obstruction unless he produced an ID, Williams said “no.” The comedian then turned around and placed his hands behind his back “on his own accord,” the arrest report said.
“Two of Williams’ associates were standing nearby and were pleading for Williams to calm down,” the officer wrote.
While being handcuffed and searched, Williams “made several comments about how he was going to sue the department,” the report said.
“He stated he had been arrested over 30 times in the last few months and every time he was released prior to being booked into jail,” Virgilio wrote. “He made comments regarding my employment with the city of Seattle and how it would end as a result of his arrest. Williams stated he had millions of dollars, and this arrest would not affect him.”
After the search turned up Williams’ passport in his pocket, the officer asked why he hadn’t just handed it over.
“You asked for my driver’s license,” he quoted Williams saying. “I didn’t have it!”
Then, it got worse, the arrest report said.
“Williams became aggressive and resistant and his actions forced me to take him to the ground for a short period of time. He was subsequently placed in the back of my patrol car.”
Williams was playing pool in the bar when Sunday’s trouble started, the report said. “An argument began and quickly escalated.”
When the manager tried to separate Williams from the couple with whom he was arguing, Williams yelled at him for “protecting the customers from the famous guy,” Virgilio wrote.
“Williams picked up a pool stick, raised it up and pointed it at (the manager’s) face,” the report said. “(The manager) continued to state if he hadn’t stepped back the stick would have hit in the the face.”
When the manager asked him to put the stick down, Williams said “What if I don’t?” and jabbed the stick toward him again, the report said.
“At one point during the altercation, Williams followed a family outside of the bar where, as the family got into their car, Williams flicked a cigarette through a car window at a woman, striking her just below her eye,” the police news release said. “Williams also threw a rock at the family’s car.”
Virgilio said he would request additional charges against Williams, including reckless endangerment, because the rock hit a window in the family’s car, “directly next to an 8-year-old girl.”
“Had the glass shattered or the rock had penetrated the window, it could have struck and harmed the 8-year-old victim,” he said.
Williams began his career as a stand-up comic, gaining attention in 1999 for comedy club appearances. Television appearances on the BET network led to more success.
His 2006 HBO special “Katt Williams: Pimp Chronicles Pt.1” raised his profile even higher.
He has acted in several movies, including Eddie Murphy’s “Norbit,” and his voice is featured in several popular cartoons, including “The Boondocks.”
His often raunchy style has drawn comparisons to comedy legend Richard Pryor.
CNN’s Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.