RENTON, Wash. -- A local comedian was attacked on stage and nearly killed, but it was no heckler. It may have been a spurned would-be comic out for revenge.
Dylan Avila is a stand-up comedian and the host of an open-mic night at The Local 907 Club in Renton, and was on stage Monday night when the suspect jumped on stage, swinging a baseball bat in a violent attack.
“I just saw an image and a blur and a bat,” said Avila.
The attack sent him to the hospital. He suffered a double concussion and was wheeled into emergency surgery, where doctors put titanium plates in his skull.
Avila said he knew who attacked him. He said it was Steve Baldwin, who had signed up in the past to take the stage on open-mic night, a time when anyone can try their hand at stand-up comedy.
Avila said Baldwin signed in as Jesus Christ. After a few times at the club, he was asked not to come back because the owners considered his act, which included Baldwin waiving sex toys on stage, obscene.
“It was offensive on every level,” said Avila. “There was no joke told, and there was nothing humorous about it.”
On Monday night, witnesses say Baldwin slipped into the club, and when Avila took the stage, went on the attack.
“He was swinging, and had every intention of killing him,” said James Taylor, Avila’s friend. “He wasn’t going to stop.”
Taylor was one of the first to tackle the suspect, along with Jamal Harrington.
“It was unbelievably shocking,” said Harrington. “That is something that we would never think would happen, being attacked on stage like that.”
Avila says he’s fortunate to have a lot of good friends to come to his rescue. Many of those friends are now rallying to help cover his hospital expenses, with fundraising comedy shows around the Northwest. They also started a Go Fund Me page you can find here.
Baldwin, the suspect in the case, is still behind bars.