Jaguar Security Firm pulled out of Cal Anderson Park on Tuesday night, after being hired to protect it while it was repaired during ongoing protests.
Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park has been closed since June 30. On Tuesday, the park was cleared for repairs to a field house damaged in the continued rioting sparked by the death of George Floyd. Jaguar Security was contracted to guard the area from angry demonstrators during the night, but walked out during their first shift.
Jaguar Security owner Ricky McGhee told Fox News that when he showed up at the park, he and two of his armed guards were immediately confronted by a group of individuals wielding “poles and sticks.” They were immediately bombarded with threats of violence.
“I went there to make sure, as the owner of the company, that nothing serious would go down. I wanted to make sure everything was going to be cool,” McGhee recalled. “As soon as we entered that park, they started verbally attacking us … calling us all kinds of names like ‘sellouts’ and [telling us] what they would do to us.” Lights were allegedly shone into McGhee’s and employees’ eyes, making it difficult to identify those involved.
While some outlets claim McGhee was “chased” from the park, he denies it. McGhee said that they contacted the police and were instructed to walk to the sidewalk to await assistance. He described his men as “seasoned” guards who were “not trying to go to jail,” and instead were attempting prevent escalating tension.
“These people that are doing that stuff, they’re putting themselves in danger,” he said. “We could have engaged right when they put those lights in our eyes and they had those weapons in their hands.”
“Jaguar Security opted to leave the park on Tuesday evening as the large crowd of protesters was not responding to requests to disperse, continued to harass the security guards, and out of a desire to not escalate the situation,” Seattle Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Rachel Schulkin told Fox News.
“Jaguar Security opted to leave the park on Tuesday evening as the large crowd of protesters was not responding to requests to disperse, continued to harass the security guards, and out of a desire to not escalate the situation,” she continued, and verified that the park continues to work with Jaguar on a “night-by-night” basis, while the department works to “reassess daily the security needs for Cal Anderson Park.”