On May 25, 2013, Edmonds resident Chris Patterson finally succumbed to injuries he sustained from a bar brawl behind O’Houlies Pub in Mountlake Terrace. Ten months later it is still difficult for Jessica Warren, the mother of Patterson’s 14-year-old daughter, to talk about the ordeal: the incident at the bar, the six months that Patterson spent in a coma before being taken off of life support and the court proceedings that resulted in a seven-year prison sentence for Patterson’s attacker.
It’s much easier for Warren to simply talk about her long-time friend who died at the young age of 33. “Chris was a friend to everyone and didn’t deserve the fate he got,” she said.
Patterson was involved in a fight behind O’Houlies Pub in October, 2012, that left him unresponsive due to severe head injuries. Patterson had joined a brawl that involved his brother and at least three other men. Surveillance video showed Patterson being knocked unconscious, then kicked and stomped in the head by Bryan James Scott, who pled guilty to first degree manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Warren had met Patterson when both were students at Edmonds-Woodway High School in the late 1990s. “We became really good friends instantaneously,” she recalled. “He hung out in the same crowd I did, and me and Chris just clicked instantly.”
Patterson was a caring person, Warren explained, and had no difficulty putting others before himself.
The friendship soon blossomed into more, and the two became parents of a girl in 2000. “He was very, very excited to have Alexis,” Warren said. “And he liked the idea of being the dad that he never had. He was very proud to be a dad.”
Even after the romantic relationship between Warren and Patterson ended when their daughter turned 1, the friendship continued. They would talk up to three times a week, and Warren explained that she could always count on Patterson when she was having difficulty.
During the sentencing phase of the Scott trial, Warren paid back Patterson’s compassion by writing a four-page victim impact statement to the court. “He always had a smile on his face and was eager to help those he cared for,” Warren wrote of Patterson. “He is the type of person that would give you the shirt off his back even if it was the only one he had.”
“He had so many good wonderful things to offer to this world and we will never again see what he could have done.”
Warren has married and started a family with a man who has promised to raise Alexis as his own daughter, a step that Warren believes brought peace to the tragic life of Chris Patterson. While Patterson was in hospice care with no sign of possible recovery, Warren and Patterson’s family decided to pull him off of life support last April.
“Hospice said that usually within two weeks the person will pass away,” Warren said. “Well, Chris hung on for seven weeks. Doctors and nurses were literally baffled. They’re like, ‘he’s holding on for some reason; there is somebody that has not given him permission to go.’”
On May 25, Warren went to visit Patterson, something she had done daily during his coma. This time Warren played Patterson a recorded message made by her husband. Warren explained, “The message basically said, ‘Chris, I’m really sorry about what happened to you. Of everybody I know, you did not deserve anything like this. I just want you to know I will always take care of your daughter. No matter what may happen between me and Jessica, I will always, always, always treat your daughter as though she is my own blood daughter. I will never take your place; you will always be her daddy. But I will always be there for her for you.’”
Later that day Chris Patterson died.
In addition to daughter Alexis, Chris Patterson is survived by his parents Victor and Robin Patterson and brother Mark Patterson.
– Story and photos by Doug Petrowski