After weeks of searching, South Precinct officers tracked down a man Thursday night suspected of repeatedly threatening and shouting slurs at a gay couple at their South Seattle home.
The victims contacted police last month on May 9th and said they have faced ongoing harassment by a group of people, who regularly gather and drink in a neighbor’s yard near Rainier Avenue and Juneau Street. The men told police members of the group have shouted homophobic slurs as they pass by the home, and told them they weren’t “allowed in the south end.” One of the victims said that on one occasion, he was walking his puppy past the suspects, when one of them shouted “I’ll kill your dog,” followed by a homophobic slur. The victims also told officers they believed the group’s behavior was escalating and expressed concern the harassment could turn violent.
The victims identified one man as the “ring-leader” of the group, but said he didn’t live at the neighboring home, and weren’t able to provide officers with details about his identity.
Police went to the neighboring home to try and find the suspect, but no one answered the door.
Investigators and South Precinct officers spent weeks working to identify the man, and canvassed the Hillman City neighborhood for any witnesses who could help locate him. Police eventually tracked down a photo of the suspect and were able to learn his name.
On Thursday, June 18th, South Precinct Officers William Shaub and Stephen Knapp were out searching for the suspect, and spotted him walking through an alley in the 4500 block of South Juneau Street around 4:30 PM.
Officers arrested the 47-year-old man and booked him into the King County Jail for investigation of malicious harassment, Washington’s hate crime statute.