Man charged in alleged hate crime at Bellevue Square

Bellevue Square entrance at NE 6th Street and Bellevue Way NE via Wikimedia Commons. 

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A 36-year-old Tacoma man was charged with malicious harassment in King County Superior Court in an alleged hate crime.

The incident is alleged to have happened around 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2016 at Lucky Strike, a bowling alley and nightclub located in Bellevue Square.

It’s unclear from the charging documents why the case was filed this month when the incident was reported nearly three years ago.

In charging documents, police said two off-duty officers were contacted by Lucky Strike security about a fight that had occurred in the bathroom.

Police said the security guards walked two men out of the bathroom – a black man, the victim, who had his shirt off and was bleeding from his nose -- and a white man, later identified as Kyle Kowalsky, who was bleeding from his forehead.

Speaking with the officers at the scene, the victim said he was in the bathroom with a friend when Kowalsky walked in and challenged his friend to a fight.

According to police, Kowalsky kept calling the victim a racial slur and continued to say that he was in the military.

The victim said a struggle ensued with Kowalsky and Kowalsky hit him in his groin and face, breaking a gold chain he was wearing.

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According to charging documents, the victim told police he wanted Kowalsky to pay for his chain and “wanted to finish the fight like men since they were both in the military.”

Police said the victim had a scratch on the left side of his nose that was bleeding and that the left side of his nose was swollen and began to close his left eye, but the victim declined aid.

The officer who was speaking to the victim said he could hear Kowalsky continue to use racial slurs as he was speaking with Lucky Strike security.

Lucky Strike security told police they wanted to trespass Kowalsky due to his use of racial slurs.

As police investigated the incident, they said they confirmed with a bathroom attendant that the victim had tried to de-escalate the situation.

Kowalsky was booked into the King County Jail on investigation of malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime law.

Court records do not show a criminal history for Kowalsky in the state of Washington.

His arraignment, where he will enter a plea, is expected later this year.