A 36-year-old man is under investigation by the Seattle Police Department’s bias crimes detectives after he reportedly attacked a ride-share driver Wednesday and accused him of working for a terrorist group.
The incident began just before 9 PM when three men called for a ride-share in southwest Seattle. The victim in the attack picked the men up and started driving them to downtown Seattle. On the way, the passenger in the front seat began grabbing at the victim while accusing him of being a terrorist. The victim was able to get the problem passenger to move to the back of the car and he continued driving until he was able to exit the freeway and safely come to a stop at 1st Ave and Seneca St. There, the driver told the passengers to get out of his car. The three men exited, but the one problem passenger reached into the front seat and punched the driver in the head. The suspect then walked northbound on 1st Ave.
The driver reported the incident to police and officers quickly found the suspect and took him into custody. The Seattle Fire Department responded to the scene and treated the victim for minor facial injuries.
Officers booked the 36-year-old suspect into the King County Jail for assault and the department’s bias crimes detectives are reviewing the case as a possible incident of malicious harassment, Washington’s hate crime statute.