• Man charged with hate crime, assault after allegedly attacking lesbian couple at Seahawks game

    By: Michael Spears

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - A Tacoma man has been charged with second-degree assault and malicious harassment, the legal term for a hate crime in Washington State, in connection to alleged physical and verbal attacks on a lesbian couple at the Dec. 30 Seahawks home game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.

    Prosecutors said in charging papers that Jay Dee Harp spent much of the football game making “crude, vulgar comments to the victim lesbian couple sitting nearby” that referenced sexual acts.

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    Harp, who investigators said was “highly intoxicated,” repeatedly walked past the couple to purchase beer during the game, according to court documents.

    At one point, Harp allegedly grabbed one of the women, unzipped her jacket and grabbed her breast and “was not letting go,” charging papers say.

    He threw his beer in her face when she tried to push him off, according to charging papers, which state that the woman’s wife intervened and said, “he could not put hands on my wife.”

    That’s when fans in the crowd stepped in to help by grabbing Harp, who got loose and punched one of the women in the face, according to prosecutors.

    Video posted to YouTube appears to show the assault.

    A close friend of the couple said the woman who was punched underwent nose surgery Monday and was left with a chipped tooth.

    Several law enforcement officers responded to Section 118 in the third quarter.

    Court documents state Harp resisted arrest and punched a trooper. He was Tased and then booked into jail.

    In a written statement to officers, one of the victims stated, “I have been an active member of the LGBT community for decades and fought for marriage equality as an adult. The man's chronic and repeated comments about our sexuality, based on my experience, suggest my sexual orientation may have motivated today's assault.”

    Prosecutors requested bail, initially set at $25,000, be increased to $100,000.

    Jail records show Harp has been released from custody.

    King County prosecutors said a defense attorney has not been assigned to Harp at this time. He’s scheduled to be arraigned next week.

    Click here to watch the video. WARNING: Graphic content. 

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