Eight self-professed members of a neo-Nazi skinhead group have been arrested in the alleged assault of an African-American and an Asian man at a bar north of Seattle.
The suspects, seven men and a woman, ages 23 to 38, walked into the bar Saturday and began harassing an African-American disc jockey before allegedly assaulting him, the Snohomish County, Washington, Sheriff's Office said Monday. All eight members of the group were white and used racial slurs during the incident.
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When a bar employee, who was Asian, rushed to help the DJ, he was also injured, officials said.
The two victims were 37 and 35. The DJ was transported to a nearby hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening.
"We do not tolerate and will not ever tolerate acts of hate in Snohomish County," Sheriff Ty Trenary said in a statement. "The violent behavior directed at members of our community over the weekend simply because of their race is disgusting."
The sheriff's office said the suspects are linked to a white supremacist group and were likely in the area for a rally marking the anniversary of a white supremacist leader's death in the 1980s.
All eight were arrested, but only five have been formally charged. Travis Condor, Daniel Dorson, Guy Miller and Randy Smith have been charged with harassment, malicious harassment and assault. The fifth, Leah Northcraft, was charged with harassment and malicious harassment.
Washington state law defines malicious harassment as a threat or physical violence perpetrated because of "the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap."
Charges were not formally filed for the other three arrested — Cory Colwell, Vincent Nutter and Nathaniel Woodell — because Colwell was released on his own recognizance and Nutter and Woodell posted bail before they had probable cause hearings, according to the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors have until December 28 to file the charges in court, according to the prosecutor's office, at which time the three men will receive summonses to appear.
"The sheriff's office is partnering with the FBI in hopes of getting the strongest sentencing possible for these hate crimes," the sheriff said.