NEWS

B.C. man caught in riot not sure he'll return to Seattle

05/05/2012 04:25 EDT | Updated 07/05/2012 05:12 EDT

A Vancouver man who got caught in the May Day riot in Seattle says he still hasn't decided if he will take an all-expenses paid trip back to the city.

Pastor Samuel Lee was in Seattle on a vacation with his family when they were caught up in the riots. Lee says his car window was smashed and a tire slashed by rioters.

"I was telling them to stop taking pictures and getting up in my face and one said, 'You've got insurance,' " Lee said.

He got the tire and window fixed in Seattle the next day so he and his family could drive home — that's when the story took on a life of its own.

U.S. camera crews had interviewed Lee in the midst of the riot, but only got his first name. That promoted Seattle tourism officials to start an online hunt for Lee, wanting to make it up to him.

"They offered an all-expense paid trip to Seattle — so travel down, accommodations, meals," he said.

While the trip would be free, it wouldn't cover the damage to his car, which still needs repairs.

Lee says he's not sure he's ready to go back, and the attention has already been overwhelming.

"We were kind of hoping to have a day to digest things ... and all of a sudden out of the blue my phone started ringing off the hook because someone gave out my number," he said.

"We don't have a bad impression at all. We don't want to go if it's going to be a media circus."

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