Teens charged with hate crime in Islamophobic attack near Lynnwood

They’re the first local juveniles charged with hate crime since the start of 2020. The alleged assault lasted an hour.


LYNNWOOD — Prosecutors have charged two teenagers with hate crimes, alleging they took part in an Islamophobic assault north of Lynnwood that sent a child to the hospital in November.

It’s the first such charges for Snohomish County minors since the state Legislature renamed the allegation in 2019 from malicious harassment to hate crime offense, Prosecutor Adam Cornell wrote in an email.

Since 2020, local law enforcement have referred nine possible juvenile hate crimes to Snohomish County prosecutors. Three of those alleged offenders were referred to diversion programs as an alternative to criminal proceedings. One charge was declined for insufficient evidence and another was declined because police didn’t follow up with prosecutors, Cornell said. Two were being reviewed for possible charges.

The charges filed this week in Snohomish County Superior Court allege one of the two teens, who is 15, was walking with a 13 year old on Nov. 6 when a third teen jumped out. The two allegedly beat the 13 year old.

The two suspects recorded the attack, according to the charging papers. The alleged assault continued for an hour at several locations. They would drag the 13 year old by his pants and shirt to each spot, according to charging papers.

During the attack, the two teens made Islamophobic statements, prosecutors alleged. They reportedly told the victim if he told anyone about the attack, they would kill him and his family.

At one point, one of the suspects, who is also 13, told the victim to kiss his shoes and perform the act of prostration, an Islamic prayer position where the believer kneels and places their head on the ground to praise God, according to court documents. The victim’s father told detectives this was offensive to their religion.

Videos recorded by the suspects backed up the allegations, according to prosecutors.

The two teens had a history of harassing the victim, his father told police. One had reportedly called the boy a “Muslim terrorist” and “(expletive) Arab” for months.

Eventually, the victim escaped and ran home. His father took him to the hospital, where the boy was diagnosed with bruises on his head and arm and a concussion, deputy prosecutor Hayley Bigoni wrote in the charges.

The victim told investigators he felt shame and guilt about the incident. He said he thinks about it every day when he prays, according to court documents.

The victim and one of the suspects are no longer enrolled in the Mukilteo School District, spokesperson Diane Bradford said in an email.

The two suspects were each charged with a hate crime, second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. The Daily Herald is not naming the defendants because they are minors.

Hate crimes have been on the rise nationwide, according to federal data. In 2013, there were nearly 7,000 hate crimes reported. By 2020, that increased to over 11,000.

As for juveniles, according to data from the 2018-2019 school year, one in four students who reported being bullied said it was based on race, religion, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. And a quarter of all students reported seeing hateful words or symbols written in their schools.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Talk to us

More in Local News

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek house fire leaves 1 dead

The fire was contained to a garage in the 15300 block of 25th Drive SE. A person was found dead inside.

Firefighters respond to a house fire Wednesday morning in the 3400 block of Broadway. (Everett Fire Department)
3 hospitalized in critical condition after Everett house fire

Firefighters rescued two people, one of whom uses a wheelchair, from the burning home in the 3400 block of Broadway.

The Walmart Store on 11400 Highway 99 on March 21, 2023 in in Everett, Washington. The retail giant will close the store on April 21, 2023. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Walmart announces Everett store on Highway 99 will close on April 21

The Arkansas-based retail giant said the 20-year-old Walmart location was “underperforming financially.”

Michael Tolley (Northshore School District)
Michael Tolley named new Northshore School District leader

Tolley, interim superintendent since last summer, is expected to inherit the position permanently in July.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
New forecast show state revenues won’t be quite as robust as expected

Democratic budget writers say they will be cautious but able to fund their priorities. Senate put out a capital budget Monday.

Everett Memorial Stadium and Funko Field on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Drive to build new AquaSox ballpark gets $7.4M boost from state

The proposed Senate capital budget contains critical seed money for the city-led project likely to get matched by the House.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Providers at Community Health Center of Snohomish County vote to form a union

Providers expressed hope for improving patient care and making their voices heard with management.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A thumbs up for capital gains, kind words for the Senate budget

It’s Day 75. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Supreme Court rules state’s new capital gains tax is legal

The 7-2 ruling clears the way for collection of payments starting next month. The tax is expected to bring in $500 million a year.

Most Read