SEATTLE — Dan Price, a Seattle CEO known for cutting his salary and raising his employees' pay, has been charged with assault after a woman reported he attempted to forcefully kiss her in January.
Price, 37, was charged with fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, fourth-degree assault and reckless driving in February.
According to the police report, a 26-year-old woman met with Price in January after they exchanged messages on Instagram. The woman told police she met with Price after he told her he wanted to talk about "professional matters" in person.
The woman allegedly met with Price at a restaurant downtown on the night of Jan. 20. The woman told police Price got "very drunk" at the restaurant, according to documents.
The woman attempted to order an Uber, and Price suggested waiting in his Tesla until it arrived. Once inside his car, Price allegedly attempted to force a kiss on the woman and grabbed her throat when she pushed him away. Documents say the woman told police he became "incredibly angry," and his demeanor completely changed.
According to documents, Price then drove the woman to a North Seattle parking lot and did "donuts" with his car before attempting to kiss her again.
The documents say the woman's boyfriend was eventually able to make contact with her and drove her away.
Price allegedly texted the woman the next day, “Thanks for meeting me last night."
Price's attorney, Mark Middaugh, made the following statement:
“These allegations are absolutely false. Dan Price’s successful business leadership and advocacy for progressive causes have made him a target for all kinds of smears.
We have already obtained evidence that contradicts key details of the police report and raises serious doubts about the complainant’s credibility. Mr. Price respects the legal process and is confident that he will be vindicated in court.”
Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing service, gained national recognition in 2015 when he publicly announced he would raise all of his employees' salaries to $70,000 while cutting his own.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, text START to 88788 or visit thehotline.org for additional guidance and resources.
Visit the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence website for additional local resources.