LYNNWOOD — A Seattle man has been charged with a hate crime for an alleged threat to shoot a taco truck worker in Lynnwood, over the color of his skin.
A man was working in the kitchen of the food truck at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 12, when he heard a knock at the closed business. The worker opened the door to see a bald middle-aged man.
“I’m a white person,” he said, “and this might sound weird to you, but I’m getting tired of all you black and brown people,” according to the charges.
The man reportedly kept talking: “One of these days I’m going to load my shotgun and come in and shoot you.”
The man made sounds and gestures like he was racking a shotgun. The worker shut the door and locked it. He shook with fear, court papers say. The stranger walked away.
About an hour later, Lynnwood police tracked down a man who matched the description. He rambled about food trucks in California, the color of his clothing, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to police reports.
“Much of what (he) said didn’t make sense,” an officer wrote.
Officers asked him what happened at the taco truck.
“What truck?” he replied, court papers say.
Later he acknowledged he’d knocked on the door and asked for a soda. He reported he made a joke, and that both he and the worker laughed about it. He denied making a threat. The man, 54, was booked into jail for investigation of malicious harassment, Washington state’s hate crime law.
The man has a long misdemeanor record out of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seattle, including property destruction, disorderly conduct and threatening a crime with intent to terrorize. He served a jail sentence for felony harassment in 2016.
Since he’s a felon, he’s not allowed to have guns.
Over the past weeks he remained in jail with bail set at $10,000. His address was listed as assisted housing in downtown Seattle.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.