Police Investigating Hate Crime Attacks In North Seattle, Capitol Hill

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee September 21, 2011

Seattle police are investigating two unrelated weekend attacks in North Seattle and Capitol Hill as possible hate crimes.

In the first incident, police arrested a man near Broadway after he punched a transgender woman he had flirted with.

According to a police report, the suspect had been talking with the woman on the street near 10th and E. Pike just before midnight on September 17 when he "felt an erection."

It's unclear whose erection set the man off, but the suspect apparently became upset and began calling the victim and the victim's friend "faggots."

When the victim's friend told the man "he needed to understand that he was on Capitol Hill," the suspect punched the victim in the face, bloodying her nose.

The suspect then implied he had a knife, and fled towards Broadway.

The victim followed the man, who threw a metal no-parking sign at the victim, striking her in the face.

Police arrived and found the suspect hiding in some bushes near the scene.

The man "repeatedly" told officers he was not "a faggot" and that "homosexuals put 'dicks in butts,' and...that he didn't do that," the report says.

Police booked the man into jail for malicious harassment, Washington's hate crime statute.

A little more than 24 hours later in an unrelated incident in North Seattle, a woman got on a Metro bus at  123rd and Lake City Way NE, immediately told the driver "I'm scared," and sat down.

A man followed the woman on the bus, stuck his tongue out at her, and spat in her face.

Police records say the incident started around 1:15 am when the man approached the woman at the bus stop, where she was waiting to catch a ride to work, and began threatening her.

The woman didn't know what the man said to her—she primarily speaks Arabic, a police report says—but believed he was "very angry" and would attack her.

After the man followed the woman on the bus and spat in her face, the driver ordered him off, but he refused to leave.

The man then began calling the bus driver a racist and said the victim had "moved to a white neighborhood because they couldn't stand their own shit" and  "now you are calling whitey for help, for justice."

Police came and arrested the man on the bus.

The report for the incident says the suspect was uncooperative during his arrest and "pretended to only speak Spanish." He also told officers he believed he was being arrested "for hurting the feelings of a minority."

We'll follow up with prosecutors today and see if charges have been filed in either case.

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