Five Men Charged with Bloody Hate Crime on Capitol Hill

Prosecutor Says It's "Common" for Out-of-Towners to Target the Gay-Friendly Neighborhood

Five Men Charged with Bloody Hate Crime on Capitol Hill
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On Wednesday, May 29, at around 9:45 p.m., five men who were visiting Seattle beat a young man bloody while yelling antigay and racist slurs, right on 10th Avenue and East Pike Street by the Comet Tavern, police say. Charging documents obtained this week by The Stranger describe details of the crime, which now has those men—all white, in their early 20s, and from out of state—facing charges of malicious harassment, the state's hate-crime charge.

"Most disturbing about it is the number of people on one person," says Mike Hogan, a senior deputy prosecuting attorney in charge of hate crime cases, when asked if there's anything notable or unusual about this case. A witness said there were "actually up to six or seven" assailants, Hogan explains, but he could only identify the five who were charged.

Hogan also pointed out something surprising about the city's most gay-friendly neighborhood: "It's common to see people not from our area... go up to the Pike/Pine district and offend there."

The group of men had been "hanging out on the street... calling people walking by derogatory hate speech names," according to records filed in King County Superior Court on June 3. "One name they repeatedly called men passing by was 'faggot.'" A witness quoted in the charging documents, a doorman at the Comet, described the crowd as "angry, pissed off," and ready to "fight with anyone they deemed a member of the offensive terms they were using."

That's when a 20-year-old black man walked past the group, when he too was called a faggot, and he "made some remarks back to the group," the records explain. As the bouncer would tell police, "When that happened, the group... began repeatedly calling [the victim] a 'faggot' and a 'nigger.'"

Then the group allegedly "swarmed" the young man. Charging papers describe one of the suspects grabbing the victim "around the neck" and "[taking] him to the ground," where they allegedly punched and kicked him. He was able to flee eventually, as the crowd "continued yelling at him, still calling him a 'faggot' and a 'nigger.'"

Police arrived, and the victim returned to the scene. "He was shaking, upset, crying and had a lot of blood bleeding from a cut on his lip," says the police record. The suspects were arrested on the scene after the bouncer identified them.

Hogan, the prosecutor, says "the thing that's nice" about this case is that the witness was "proactive, vigilant, made the identifications. We're really grateful that that happened... Somebody cared—a lot. He didn't know the victim, but he cared enough to assist the police in identifying the perpetrators."

As for picking Capitol Hill, the suspects "certainly didn't select a very hospitable neighborhood for their idea of a good time, and I'm glad of that," Hogan explains. "I don't think they really understood the dynamics of the neighborhood."

If convicted, the men face a standard sentencing range of three to nine months, depending on prior convictions, which Hogan says they're likely to actually serve. "The judges take this really seriously." recommended


Comments (10) RSS

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Oooh, 90 days in city jail. That'll learn 'em!
Posted by twinkie223 on June 5, 2013 at 9:10 AM · Report this
Malicious Harassment is a seriousness level IV felony, giving it the same sentencing range as a robbery 2. The sentencing range depends on their prior felony record, if any. The city can't prosecute felonies, only misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, so this won't be "90 days in city jail."
Posted by nickdanger3deye on June 5, 2013 at 10:22 AM · Report this
I am not in any way a gun fetishist, but a little .25 automatic, duly licensed, in my pocket makes life more enjoyable. I'm a guy with an obvious physical deformity and used to have asses, usually in groups of young men, drunk, give me crap when I was just going from one place to the next. Be responsible and aware that you have the ability to end a fellow human's life if forced to. Let 'em call you names and don't react but save yourself.
Posted by Bert Chadick on June 7, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
This is a hate crime. If all they get is 90 days they'll be right back on the street in no time at all. I hope they to prison and become a black man's b*tch. Karma would be fulfilled!
Posted by caphillboy on June 8, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
i was there and this is not how it happened they were not yelling racial slurs the african american guy hit a woman and the street kids were defending her this is bullshit i was standing right there that bouncer is a liar and just does not like the homeless youth you people should hear the whole story before you make assumption fuck the comet and fuck the police this is bullshit
Posted by pastasauce on June 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
"One name they repeatedly called men passing by was 'faggot.'"

How does anyone know the word wasn't "fagot?" try googling both words. Boggles my mind how a law could be written and applied to any oral statement. I think I shall don my gay (bright, lively - not homosexual) apparel.
Posted by billwald on June 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
So they were calling people who passed by either a cigarette or a bundle of sticks.... Right Billwald makes perfect sense. Context actually means something.
Posted by Puck on June 10, 2013 at 8:27 PM · Report this
So yeah, these were my friends. I was there that night as well and they were not yelling profanities at random people walking by. And because I know these kids I also know that they are not racist or homophobic in any way, shape or form. These are street kids. We deal with different types of people on a daily basis and are blessed by people from every walk of life everyday. We were getting drunk that night and we all know what happens in a bar scene with alcohol involved. We had been on Cap Hill for the 2 weeks before that and they knew the area of town we were in. That bouncer also stole my cat btw. It was a black male cat. Is he going to get charged with kidnapping or let me guess the cops don't give f*** because I'm a street kid? This whole thing is f***ing ridiculous. How about the Stranger interview more people involved before printing something like this. I thought you'd be better than that. Shame.
Posted by GratefullyDead on June 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Texas10R 9
So, this bassoon and a bundle of twigs walk into a bar on Capitol Hill. The bartender says, "Hey fagots, whaddaya want ta drink besides the door man?!

Posted by Texas10R on June 16, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
ohh and fuck the stranger for being one-sided bigots who use there journalism for negativity great job i though your supposed to help the underdog not defend the corrupt!
Posted by pastasause on June 18, 2013 at 7:22 PM · Report this

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