Crime

Auburn man tells neighbor to go back to Mexico, chases her with knife, documents say

King County prosecutors say a 36-year-old Auburn man became enraged when he learned a neighbor was from Mexico, then threatened to blow her up and chased her around her front yard with a 3-inch folding knife.

Travis Spike Senner, whose criminal history spans three states, was charged last week with malicious harassment, a hate crime, and second-degree assault in the March 31 incident at a home across from his apartment complex on I Street Northeast, charging papers say.

He remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Charging papers allege Senner, who is white, has criminal convictions in Washington, Georgia and Florida. In the latter, he was convicted of aggravated assault and kidnapping in 2010.

Court documents give this account:

The woman he is accused of harassing drove home on the morning of March 31 and saw a man on the street outside her house.

She waited for the automatic gate to open before pulling into her private driveway. Then the man walked onto her property through the open gate.

As she got out of her car, the man asked her where she was from, and when she replied “Mexico,” he began yelling obscenities and told her to “go back to her country.”

The woman yelled for the man to get off her property, at which point he pulled out a smoke detector, which he said was a bomb, then threatened “to blow her up.”

He also kicked her metal gate, damaging it.

The man pulled a folding knife from his pocket, told the woman “to leave his state” and chased her around the front yard, yelling that he was going to stab her.

She ran around her car twice while he ran behind her, swinging the knife, before she was able to get in her house and call 911.

The man remained in her yard, yelling obscenities, before walking away.

A detective who came to the woman’s house described her as visibly shaken and crying, and said she initially was too scared to come outside to speak with police.

“She told me she has never met Travis before, and she thought he was going to kill her,” the detective wrote in charging papers. “She also believes that Travis targeted her because of her race.”

Based on the woman’s description, other police officers arrested Senner a few blocks away, and the woman identified him as the man who threatened her, according to the charges.

Under state law, malicious harassment is defined as intentionally injuring, damaging property or threatening someone because of his or her perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical or sensory handicap.

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