Metro Weekly

Seattle residents targeted in three anti-LGBT attacks over Pride weekend

Police do not believe incidents, which occurred after legalization of marriage equality, are related

Picture of the Seattle skyline at night (Photo credit Nova77, via Wikimedia Commons).

Seattle – Photo: Nova77, via Wikimedia Commons

Amid celebrations commemorating Seattle Pride and the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide, Seattle Police are investigating three separate incidents that appear to have targeted the LGBT community.

According to the Seattle Police Department’s crime blotter, police arrested two men over the weekend while they search for another group of three suspects, as well as two women who accompanied them, who are still at large. All three incidents occurred on Sunday, June 28. 

In the group incident, a gay couple in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood was approached at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning by one of the men, who struck him in the hand. When the victim asked the assailant what he was doing, he said, “We’re celebrating Pride, too,” before uttering an anti-gay slur. The suspect then punched the victim in the face. The victim’s boyfriend intervened, only to be set upon by two other males. The suspects allegedly kicked the victims while they lay on the ground. 

The assailants are described as a black male wearing a blue and white striped shirt and jeans, a heavy set black male wearing a white shirt and jeans, and a white male, approximately 5’11,” 140 pounds, with blond hair. The victims were not able to provide much of a description of the two females accompanying the three attackers, saying only that one woman was Asian and the other was black.

In the second incident, which took place at around 5:15 p.m., a male flagged down a bike officer and pointed to a man on the street who he said threatened him with a weapon. The man said he was walking down the street and bumped into the suspect, who swore at the victim and used a homophobic slur. The suspect then allegedly pressed something into the victim’s stomach that the victim believed to be a gun and asked, “Is your life worth that much?” The officer called for backup, and other officers took the 23-year-old suspect into custody, whereupon he uttered another anti-gay slur while referring to the victim. The suspect was charged with malicious harassment — the standard for being charged under Washington’s statute for hate crime attacks — though police were unable to find a weapon on the suspect’s person. 

Three-and-a-half hours later, at 8:45 p.m., a transgender victim was approached by a man and a woman, who asked, “Did you enjoy your parade?” followed by an anti-gay slur. The male suspect punched the victim while the woman jumped on the victim’s back. As the victim lay on the sidewalk, the man put his foot on the victim’s head. The victim called 911 and received medical attention before going on a ride with Seattle police officers. Based on the victim’s identification, police arrested a 35-year-old male and booked him for malicious harassment. The female accomplice remains at large. 

According to the SPD blotter, police do not believe any of the attacks are related. Anyone with information on any of the attacks is encouraged to call police at 206-233-5000.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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