KING COUNTY, Wash. — The victim of a hate crime in Kirkland wants you to see the cell phone video that captured a stranger brutally attacking him in a Safeway parking lot at 14444 124th Avenue Northeast.
Sandeep Ray said he recently got a letter from the Washington Department of Corrections that said his attacker will be released next year.
Ray said that spurred him to share the video. He said wants people to see the severity of his attack to warn you about the hate crimes happening in the community.
In the video from September 2017, you can see then 33-year-old William Kraft kicking and punching Ray. Kraft also uses his shirt to choke Ray. Court documents say at some point, Ray loses consciousness.
In the video, you also see Kraft get on top of Ray and puts his hands around Ray’s neck. At that point, documents say the person taking the video believes Kraft might kill Ray, stops recording, and runs over to help.
Ray said according to a letter he received from the Department of Corrections, Kraft is projected to be released from prison in October 2020.
Our original story from March 22, 2019:
The victim of a hate crime remembered in the King County Superior Court how he was nearly killed by a man yelling racial slurs.
A judge gave the attacker the maximum prison sentence time allowed by law -- nearly five years.
“I almost lost my life that night, I almost got murdered,” said Sandeep Ray, who lives in Kirkland and is an American citizen.
He spoke to the court Friday about what he's endured since William Kraft attacked him on Sept. 8, 2017.
“I was left for dead, night terrors haunt me now in my sleep,” Ray said to the judge. “There were times I even wished William Kraft had finished me off, as the pain was the worst and intolerable,” he said.
Kraft is charged with a hate crime for attacking Ray - who he randomly came across in a Kirkland Safeway parking lot – beating and choking him until Ray lost consciousness.
KIRO7 talked with him after the attack. At the time, he didn't want to be shown on camera, fearing for his safety.
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“He told me, 'Hey blackie, when are you going to leave this country?’” Ray said. “When he was punching me he was asking, 'hey, hey blackie, is it enough, do you learn your lesson?’” he said.
Prosecutors said Kraft kicked Ray in the head as he laid on the ground. Then took off his shirt and used it to strangle Ray. Then while on all fours, he started choking Ray with his hands. A bystander finally stopped the attack.
Kraft's mother and sister plead for leniency Friday.
“He has had mental illness and he's tried to self-medicate with drugs. And also the abuse was mentioned when he was younger,” said Lisa Kraft, his mom.
“This awful thing that William did is not a reflection of who my brother is,” said Catherine Kraft, his sister.
And Kraft apologized for his crimes.
“I wake up every day and it just doesn't seem real. So I'd like to very sincerely apologize to Mr. Ray,” he said.
The judge acknowledged it all -- but also noted Kraft's criminal history and the severity of this crime.
Charging documents said, “The defendant has a criminal history which includes two counts of Assault 2 in 2004, Assault 3 in 2015, Malicious Mischief 3 in 2014, Obstructing in 2014, DUI in 2011. He has eight warrants since 2004.”
“This is your second strike,” said Judge John McHale.
“It was an act of terror. So I'm going to follow the state's recommendation,” he said, sentencing him to nearly five years in prison.
Ray says now - 18 months after the attack - he can start finding peace.
“Right now I feel relieved,” he said. “I got my justice, he got his sentence. I think the best thing for me is to move along and just to forget it,” he said.
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