SHORELINE, Wash. — The King County Prosecutor’s Office filed a new felony hate crime charge on Thursday after another incident against someone of Asian descent.
This latest incident happened in Shoreline on Monday and police say the confrontation was between next-door neighbors. The victim in this case is Vietnamese American.
Neighbors say the suspect has also caused trouble with non-Asian people in the neighborhood, but say this time the incident was clearly motivated. Prosecutors identify the suspect as Jan Myers.
“This last incident was a real shock to all of us,” said Eva Franke, who also lives on the street where the incident happened.
The attorney for the victim, Lance Fryrear, said Myers has targeted the victim for years with hateful speech.
“My client was out gardening minding her own business and the next thing you know the suspect again was out using racial slurs against her,” Fryrear said.
“Also threatening to kill her - basically saying along the lines of you’re not going to live long,” he said.
But according to court documents, this week things escalated. Meyer was in her vehicle, staring at the victim. She then started driving her vehicle backward and forward on the road in front of the victim and that’s when “these anti-Asian racial slurs escalated to threatening behavior,” charging documents said.
Prosecutors say Myers shouted, “Come on out, you slant eye” and “Hey Miss Vietnam… you’re not going to live very long.”
“My client was terrified, ran into the house crying. Called her husband who was at the park with their children,” Fryrear said.
Shoreline police interviewed Myers, who denied saying those things - but it was caught on video. Fryrear said the cell phone video the victim took was integral in the case bringing a felony hate crime charge so quickly.
Neighbors say they’re supporting the victim and her family.
“Everyone just wanted to put our foot down and say no - enough is enough, we cannot abide by this. I hope that she (Myers) faces justice fort that,” Franke said.
Fryrear says his clients want to spread awareness about this type of hate happening but added they are also very shaken up and are asking for privacy.
“Imagine you’re afraid to come out of your own house simply because of your race. That you have a neighbor who feels entitled and privileged to call you names. To follow you. To threaten to kill you,” Fryrear said. “When you don’t feel safe in your own home - that is a living nightmare,” he said.
Fryer added his clients are very grateful to Shoreline Police and the King County Prosecutor’s office.
Meyer has no felony criminal history and has been released from jail while awaiting trial.
This is case marks the 11th formally charged hate crime so far this year in King County and the fourth against someone of Asian /Pacific Islander decent.
Cox Media Group