Quick-thinking employee carrying gun subdues alleged wine bar attacker, prosecutors say

TACOMA -- An employee at a wine bar used his handgun to subdue a man who allegedly punched a woman in the face and drew a 12-inch knife on other patrons, prosecutors said.

According to the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, four friends were sitting outside of the Cork Wine Bar Saturday on a bistro table in the 600 block of N. State Street in Tacoma when they were approached by a man, later identified as 51-year-old Robert Anthony Rashe.

Rashe allegedly walked up to the the women and pressed himself against the table, invading the group's personal space.

The women grew uncomfortable and one stood up, demanding Rashe leave their table. But instead of leaving, Rashe allegedly grew enraged, flipped the table into the air and punched one of the women in the mouth.  A patron inside the wine bar ran out to help the women, but as he approached, Rashe drew a 12-inch knife, prosecutors said.

Rashe held the knife menacingly and walked slowly toward the man, prosecutors said.

An employee inside the bar heard the commotion and looked outside to see his table flipped upside down with glass shattered, and Rashe holding the knife, prosecutor's said. He quickly ran outside and drew a handgun he kept on his person and ordered Rashe to drop the knife. Rashe, seeing the handgun, complied, dropped the knife and sat on the ground until police arrived, prosecutors said.

Police took the knife into evidence. The woman Rashe allegedly punched in the face was transported to the hospital with a loose tooth.

Rashe was arrested and now faces two charges of second-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief in Pierce County Superior Court.

He is currently in jail on $50,000 bail.