Seattle man charged with hate crime, assault following downtown attack

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A 40-year-old Seattle man has been charged with a hate crime in connection with an attack on two women in downtown Seattle on Monday.

According to charging documents, Michael John Allen is being charged with one count of a hate crime against a woman of Asian descent, as well as a count of fourth-degree assault against another woman.

At 5:23 p.m. Monday, Seattle officers were called to 3rd Avenue and Union Street for a report of a man punching multiple people on the street. Officers were later advised that the man appeared to be targeting Asians.

Officers caught up with the man, later identified as Allen, and detained him near 3rd Avenue and Union Street.

While that was happening, officers were contacted by a woman near 4th Avenue and Pike Street, who said she had been struck in the back of the head in the 500 block of Olive Way, near the Bank of America.

According to charging documents, the woman told police that the attack on her was “unprovoked,” and the man had screamed things such as: “You f****** dumb b****, I hate you! F*** you I hate you!”

The woman told police she did not believe she was assaulted based on her gender or race.

The woman also told police that the man began yelling at two Asian woman, telling them to “Go back to China!”

Another woman who called 911 after she witnessed the man yelling at the two women, “Go back to China!” told police she saw the women running from the man and noted that they looked scared.

Another officer who was contacted by an area security guard told the officer that two women had been attacked by a man, who was heading south on 4th Avenue toward Union.

The officer found the victims, who were visiting Seattle, inside a store.

The women told police that they were walking in the park when a man started yelling at them, saying to something to the effect of “Go back to f****** China,” according to police records.

One of the women said she picked up her pace to get away but the man managed to catch up with her friend.

The victim told police that the man punched her in the back of her left shoulder, police records state.

According to court records, the women, both Chinese nationals, told officers they felt they were targeted because they were Asian.

Allen, who was described as the suspect, was booked into the King County Jail.

Prosecutors asked for his bail to be set at $30,000.

Hate crime statistics in King County:

Of the 235 hate crimes filed between 2018 and Thursday, July 14, there is clear data for 187 of them. The authorities are working to enter data on the remaining cases. A case can have multiple types of hateful acts or involve multiple anti-bias acts. That’s why there are 187 of 235 cases with clear, entered data:

  • Hate crimes against someone’s race or ethnicity are the most common (at least six so far in 2022 and at least 105 from 2018 through 2021. That’s based on the figure of 187, although 235 cases have been charged overall.)
    • Of the charged hate crimes between 2018 and the end of June 2022 with clear data, at least 64 of those were anti-Black hate crimes, including 10 in 2021.
    • At least 16 of those cases were anti-Asian hate crimes, including seven in 2021. (Based on 187 cases with data entered, although 235 have been charged overall.)
  • Hate crimes against someone’s sexual orientation are the second most common type of hate crime (there has been one case charged so far this year, and at least 40 cases from 2018–2021. Again, that’s based on the figure of 187, although more cases have been charged overall.)
  • Hate crimes against someone’s gender or gender expression are the third most common category: There is at least one case so far in 2022, and 21 cases since 2018. (Based on 187 out of 235 overall charged hate crime cases.)
  • Hate crimes against someone’s national origin happened in at least 13 cases from 2018-2021, including four cases in 2021. (Based on 187 out of 235 overall charged hate crime cases.)

Among anti-race/ethnicity hate crimes, anti-Black hate crimes are the most common.