A stabbing Tuesday night in downtown Olympia may have been racially motivated, according to the Olympia Police Department.
Daniel B. Rowe, 32, was arrested near the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Adams Street and booked into the Thurston County jail on suspicion of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. Judge James Dixon found probable cause for three charges Wednesday afternoon: two counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and one count of malicious harassment. He set bail at $500,000.
The male stabbing victim, a 47-year-old man, sustained only non-life threatening injuries, according to police. A 35-year-old female victim was grazed by the suspect’s knife.
Upon his arrest, Rowe allegedly told police that he had gone downtown after hearing about anti-police graffiti that had been put up Sunday night, according to court documents. He reportedly told police that if he were let go, he would head to a Donald Trump rally and stomp out more of the Black Lives Matter group.
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“This has all the hallmarks of a hate crime,” said Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Wheeler.
“This black and white couple was simply expressing their love for one another,” he added.
Dixon called the allegations “extremely serious,” and said there have been no comparable cases in Thurston County in recent history.
Public Defender Christian Cabrera said that Rowe had moved to the Olympia area about three weeks earlier. He had previously lived in Richland.
Rowe’s criminal history included a 2008 conviction for second-degree robbery — a strike offense. If Rowe is convicted on one of the assault charges, it would be his second strike offense.
Court documents give the following account:
Police responded to downtown Olympia on Tuesday night after receiving reports that a black man had been stabbed, and a white man — later identified as Rowe — was unconscious. Based on the Rowe’s white supremacist tattoos — reading “skinhead,” “white power” and “hooligan,” and featuring a Confederate flag — officers believed the altercation may have been racially motivated.
Both men were taken to Providence St. Peters Hospital in Olympia.
When police talked to the male stabbing victim, he said that he and his girlfriend, a white woman, had been drinking at the China Clipper. After every drink, they would go outside to smoke and make out.
While standing outside after their third drink, the male victim heard his girlfriend yell as if she were in pain. He saw Rowe standing near her, and then he felt Rowe punch him.
Rowe began running, and the male victim chased him. He tripped Rowe, who fell into a car and was knocked unconscious.
When the male victim looked down at his hip, he realized he hadn’t been punched — he had been stabbed. The female victim realized that she had also been grazed by the suspect’s knife.
The male victim said Rowe didn’t say anything to him during the attack.
When police talked to Rowe, he said that he was part of a white supremacist group, and that he had come downtown in reaction to the anti-police graffiti put up Sunday night. He said he had taken a “blood oath” to fight on the street.