Crime

He used a racial slur in threat against Sumner school worker, hate crime charges say

A Sumner School District employee who was working on the football field heard someone yell to him from the fence Friday morning.

The 61-year-old employee walked to the fence to see what the younger man needed, at which point the 23-year-old used a racial slur and threatened to kill the employee and his family, according to charging papers.

Prosecutors charged the suspect with a hate crime, and he pleaded not guilty at arraignment Monday.

Superior Court Commissioner Craig Adams set bail at $50,000.

According to charging papers:

The victim didn’t know the defendant and hadn’t spoken with him before.

The suspect said: “I’m going to kill you and your family.”

When the victim asked why, the suspect used a racial slur and said: “... stay right here, I’ll be back to kill you and your family.”

The school district employee believed the younger man was going to kill him because of the victim’s race.

Police found the defendant nearby. He denied threatening anyone or being by a school.

The defendant pleaded guilty to felony harassment in 2017. Court records in that case say he suffered from mental illness and that he threatened a City of Puyallup employee he accused of not quickly processing his complaint that he’d been sprayed with weed killer in a park.

He also pleaded guilty to felony harassment and third-degree malicious mischief in a separate case that year. In that matter, court records say he tried to take headphones from someone at knifepoint and yelled a racial slur and death threat as officers arrested him.

He also pleaded guilty to harassment in 2015, after court records say he told a trooper who pulled him over: “You don’t want to (expletive) with me,” refused to get out of the vehicle, and made other threats after he was arrested.

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