The Morning Blotter: Capitol Hill Shoplift, Assault Investigated As Possible Hate Crime

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee September 2, 2010

An employee at a Capitol Hill shop told police he believes he was attacked by a shoplifting suspect earlier this week because he is gay, a police report says.

Around 2:00pm on August 29th, employees at a store on Broadway and Harrison spotted five black females, all around 20 years old, carrying bags and trying to leave the store with merchandise they hadn't paid for.

When one of the women set off a security alarm, an employee approached the women and asked them to stay in the store.

The women refused and left the business.

The employee followed the suspects down E Harrison Street, and called 911.

When the employee caught up to the suspects at 400 Harvard and told them he had called police, one of the women walked up to the employee, said "get away from me you stupid faggot," and punched the man on his shoulder.

The suspects then walked off and scattered, and the employee returned to the store.

The man told police the suspects "stole a large amount of merchandise using the bags to conceal the merchandise" as they left the store, the report says. The name of the store is not listed in the report.

The man told police he was not injured in the incident, but said he believed he was attacked "based off of his sexual orientation."

Police weren't able to locate the suspects in the area.

The incident was flagged for possible investigation as a case of malicious harassment, Washington's hate crime statute.

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