Hate-crime suspect: DJ called him a name, group retaliated

Meanwhile, the bar where the African American man was beaten withheld video from investigators.

Guy Miller III (Washington Department of Corrections)

Guy Miller III (Washington Department of Corrections)

EVERETT — In a recorded phone call from jail, a man recounted how he sparked a bar fight that led a group of white supremacists to beat a black DJ near Lynnwood, according to records obtained by The Daily Herald.

A new search warrant also reveals that sheriff’s deputies are searching for a third vehicle — a white Dodge Challenger with Oregon plates — that fled from the attack Dec. 8 at the Rec Room Bar and Grill on Highway 99.

And at least 16 cameras captured the beating, but the bar’s ownership last week gave sheriff’s deputies a flash drive showing only two angles of the brawl — telling detectives that should be all they needed. The bar would not let deputies download full videos, court records say. Detectives obtained a judge’s permission to seize the rest of the footage last week.

The general manager, Jayson Baum, called 911 around 12:20 a.m. that Saturday. He said a rowdy group of about 15 men came into the bar, according to emergency call logs released Monday through a public records request. Some in the group were looking for a fight. Baum believed they were white supremacists.

“The first group that walked in was a group of three, and one of them is definitely screaming that he wants to fight the bar,” Baum said in the 911 call. “Most of the guys are trying to keep him calm, but I just want them to kind of know there’s a presence around.”

Baum said he had called 911 almost immediately when the men showed up. He said the main aggressor was the biggest man in the group, covered in tattoos, wearing a black shirt.

“You said you think they’re white supremacists?” the dispatcher asked.

“They definitely have skinhead patches and —” Baum said, trailing off.

“You still there?”

“Yeah,” he said. “We have a lot of Filipinos in the bar, too, which is very uncomfortable.”

Another witness later reported the men did Nazi salutes on the dance floor. The African-American DJ later said a man tried to commandeer his sound gear. The DJ tried to stop him, and the group hurled racist epithets at him.

A witness estimated 14 men were in the fray. Another reported two women were trying to instigate the fight.

One of the suspects, Guy Miller III, phoned someone from jail last week. When a Snohomish County Jail inmate makes a call, they’re warned it’s recorded. In the audio, Miller claimed the DJ called him a vulgar, non-racial name.

So Miller shoved the DJ, he said, “which happened to cause his ‘group’ to ‘surge’ onto the stage to assault (the DJ),” according to search warrants. The men stomped on him, leaving him with a swollen eye.

Baum told deputies he was punched in the head by what felt like brass knuckles. Miller tried to pull people off the pile, according to his jail call.

“This is not what we are about!” Miller, 37, of Tacoma, recalled shouting.

Detectives suspect the group gathered here from all across the country — Oregon, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina — to remember Robert Jay Mathews, who led a white terrorist group, The Order, in the 1980s. Mathews made elaborate plans to stoke a race war. The weekend of the bar fight marked 34 years since Mathews’ fatal gunfight with the FBI on Whidbey Island.

One man in the bar, former U.S. Army Spc. Travis Condor, put Mathews’ face on a recent album cover for his band, Birthrite. It was released on his racist record label, American Defense Records.

One 911 caller reported hearing 30 gunshots in the bar. She hid outside in the parking lot. A bar owner called moments later saying there were no gunshots, but police were needed because of a big fight.

As deputies arrived, three vehicles fled: a white Toyota Tundra, a Mazda sedan with the trunk open and a white Dodge Challenger.

Deputies stopped the Toyota a half-mile away. It was loaded with six people, including Condor. All were arrested for investigation of a hate crime.

The Mazda was pulled over by Lynnwood police at a Jack in the Box. The sedan’s driver, Vincent Nutter, 28, of Bothell, and the lone passenger, Miller, were arrested for investigation of the same crime.

All eight people carried some form of racist emblem.

Randy Smith, 38, of Eugene, Oregon, held four business cards for Crew 38, an affiliate of the hate group Hammerskin Nation. Much of Smith’s chest is taken up by a swastika tattoo, with the words “SKIN” and “HEAD” in bold Old English script on either side.

Smith, Condor, Miller and the Toyota driver, Cory Colwell, admitted they were part of skinhead groups, according to the search warrants.

Another Toyota passenger, Nathaniel Woodell, 32, of Woodstock, Illinois, told deputies he was associated with Condor’s record label.

Daniel Dorson, 23, of Corvallis, Oregon, had a Crew 38 jacket, T-shirt and business card. But he denied being tied to any hate group.

Leah Northcraft, 25, of North Carolina, denied being part of a hate group, too. She wore a shirt for Skrewdriver, a punk band that emerged as white supremacist in the 1980s. On one arm, Northcraft has a tattoo of a raccoon, crossed out like a no-smoking symbol. Detectives believe it’s a thinly veiled reference to a slur for African Americans. This year she was fired from a job at a hair salon in North Carolina because of “toxic beliefs,” according to an alternative weekly newspaper near her hometown. She was accused of inflaming the fight with hate speech.

Leah Northcraft (Chapel Hill Police Department)

Leah Northcraft (Chapel Hill Police Department)

Detectives were piecing together who threw punches — one reason they hoped to review the complete security video footage. Another reason was to figure out who came into the bar together.

“Based on the footage, it appeared that the whole group was associated with the assault,” according to one deputy’s report.

All but three suspects had posted bond as of Monday. Those still behind bars had bail at $100,000 or higher. One was Nutter. He was arrested for investigation of DUI. According to his booking records, he did not verify if he’s a member any hate group.

His tattoos, however, spoke for themselves.

On one bicep he’s branded the number 14. Among neo-Nazi circles, the number is a well-known reference to an Adolf Hitler quote.

On the opposite bicep is the number 88. The numbers are code for the eighth letter of the alphabet, an abbreviation for “Heil Hitler,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. And at the lowest point of a V-neck in his jail uniform, near his heart, Nutter has a tattoo of a swastika.

Tips about the Dodge can be directed to the sheriff’s office at 425-388-3845.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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