Repeat offender with violent history charged in alleged hate crime

Repeat offender with violent history charged in alleged hate crime

A 37-year-old Des Moines man has been charged with malicious harassment in King County Superior Court for an alleged hate crime.

The incident is alleged to have happened around 9 a.m. on March 21 on a Link Light Rail train in King County.

According to police, a woman boarded the busy train and asked Wesley Burgess Young to move his backpack that was on an unoccupied seat.

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Young told the woman no and said he didn’t "want a n-----" sitting next to him before threatening to pepper spray her if she did, police said.

The woman then walked away and called 911.

Passengers who witnessed the threat and racial slur confronted Young.

Police said Young then pepper sprayed one of the witnesses and went on a rant using more racial slurs.

Young then stopped the train using the emergency stop, and manually forced the doors open to exit the train.

Another witness took cellphone video of the incident which identified Young through facial recognition.

In a photo lineup, police said three witnesses identified Young as the man involved in the incident.

Young was charged with one count of malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime law, and third-degree assault.

His criminal history includes convictions in Washington for assault and domestic violence and prosecutors said he has had 24 warrants issued since 2014.

Young’s arraignment, where he will enter a plea, is expected in July.

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