Prosecutors charge man with hate crime, accusing him of targeting Asian women in Seattle

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King County prosecutors accused a 51-year-old man of a hate crime on Friday, accusing him of yelling swearwords and throwing objects on cars aimed at Asian women and children in two separate incidents last week.

Seattle police arrested Christopher Hamner in Georgetown on Thursday. This emerges from an article that was published in the police authority’s online deletion slip. There it is found that a bias detective is still investigating similar incidents in South Seattle.

Hamner remains in jail instead of $ 75,000, according to prison records. The court records do not yet reveal which lawyer is representing him. Hamner, whose last known address is SeaTac, appears to have no criminal convictions.

The allegations against Hamner are part of the rise in anti-Asian bias reported locally and nationally. The FBI warned in March 2020 of a possible increase in hate crimes against Asian communities scapegoated for the spread of the coronavirus.

“A new report from Stop AAPI Hate documented nearly 3,800 hate incidents nationwide in the past 12 months,” wrote a dozen elected city officials of Asian descent from Shoreline to SeaTac in a letter to the editor published in the Seattle Times on Monday. “Anti-Asian hate crime increased 33% in Seattle from 2019 to 2020 and a total of 149% in 16 of the country’s largest cities over the same period. [including Seattle]. ”

On March 16, a woman driving her two children, ages 10 and 5, in the Hillman City neighborhood of Seattle, was waiting at a red light on South Graham Street when she saw a man in the parking lot of a store drove and then stalked the vehicle aggressively, say the prosecution against Hamner. He screamed explosively while referring to her Asian heritage and called to her, “Get out! Get out! ”As he claps his fists and throws items out of his pockets on their vehicle, the prosecution say.

The woman told her 10-year-old daughter to try to get a video of the man. The lights switched and the woman turned left on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and turned into a store to call 911 but left after 15 minutes because the prosecution said she did not feel safe.

Her two children were “scared and disoriented” about meeting the stranger, the indictments say.

The woman who reported the incident on social media and the husband of one of her friends identified Hamner as a possible suspect – and he sent the woman a photo he had taken of Hamner who works at the Veterans Affairs hospital. He was wearing the same shoes in a photo taken at the time of the incident, the photo her friend’s husband sent and photos the woman allegedly found on Hamner’s social media account.

The woman later made the photos available to a Seattle police officer, who compared them to Hamner’s driver’s license photo and found the photos were of the same person, the indictments say.

Three days after the first incident, two women driving together on the 4700 block of Beacon Avenue South reportedly noticed a driver to the right of their vehicle who was looking back and staring at them. As the driver approached South Columbia Street, she saw that the other driver had stopped in front of her. As she passed the vehicle, the other driver interrupted her and stopped in the middle of the road to block all traffic going south.

The man opened his door and shouted a line and the word “Asian,” the prosecution say.

The woman immediately turned into a parking lot and looked back at the male driver, who had now got out of his car and, according to the indictment, was heading for the woman’s vehicle. The women rolled up the windows so she couldn’t hear what he was saying, but saw him throw a plastic object at the car before they drove away.

The woman’s car is equipped with a dashboard camera that captures the license plate of the other car, which is registered with Hamner according to the indictment. The policeman investigating the case checked the video and found that the woman attacker “was clearly Hamner” according to the indictment.

The women told the detective that they feared they could be attacked immediately, the indictments say.