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Seattle man convicted of hate crime for racist outburst
Posted by Jennifer Sullivan
A Seattle man charged last year after he launched into a racial tirade at a parking lot attendant has been found guilty of a hate crime.
Charles Read, 63, was found guilty Monday of malicious harassment after a bench trial in King County Superior Court. Read faces up to nine months in jail when he is sentenced on Feb. 26, said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Steven Kim.
According to Seattle police, Read angrily confronted a female parking lot attendant on May 7 after she left a ticket on his car. The Ethiopian woman told police that Read cursed at her and called her a racial slur as he walked toward her. The man approached the woman with his fists clenched at his side. The woman said Read's eyes were red and he was shaking with rage, according to charging papers. The woman began backing away because she feared he was going to assault her.
The woman is 5-feet-2. Charging documents say Read is 6 feet tall and 240 pounds.
The parking lot attendant said that she ran from the man and called for help, court charging papers said.
The parking lot attendant gave police the man's license plate number. When officers showed up at Read's work, he refused to talk, charging papers said. The parking lot attendant identified Read through a photo montage as the man who yelled at her.
Malicious harassment is the state's hate-crime charge, and in such crimes the victims are targeted specifically because of their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Steven Kim wanted to add that the "verdict provides closure for a terrified victim who was placed in fear because of her race by a defendant, who in his own admission, used the most derogatory word that carries with it hatred and purposeful cruelty."