On Friday, Mar. 26, 2021, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a hate crime charge against Christopher Allen Hamner of SeaTac for violent, anti-Asian behavior.
A hate crime is a felony.
Hamner, 51, was arrested by Seattle Police near Georgetown on Thursday, and charges were filed Friday. His first court appearance will be his arraignment on April 8 at the King County Courthouse.
Charging documents say that between March 16, and March 19, 2021, Hamner maliciously and intentionally – and “because of his perception of the race of three Asian women” – caused physical injury, physical damage to or destruction of property, threatened a specific person or specific group of persons, and placed them in reasonable fear of harm to person and/or property.
Here’s more from the charging docs:
Prosecutors say that on Mar. 16 at around 5:23 p.m. an Asian woman was driving with her two young children in the area of Graham Street and Martin Luther King Jr, Way in Seattle. She saw a car stopped in the road going in the opposite direction with another car in front of it, and a man – who would ultimately confront her – trying to close his door, and he seemed to be having trouble as he was lifting it and pushing it closed. She saw the man drive into the Speed E Mart and exit his car. As she was waiting at the intersection, she saw the suspect man angrily stalking toward her car shouting, “F–k you, Asian bitch!” She described him as “punching his fists together” and shouting, “Get out! Get out!”
The victim said she saw something in the man’s pocket that looked like a holster. She said that he threw items from his pockets at her car. She told police that she told her daughter, who is 10, to try and video the man. She said that her daughter and son, who is 5, were frightened and disoriented by the incident.
The victim told police that she was able to obtain photos of the man before proceeding onto MLK Jr. Way and into the parking lot of Joy Palace, where she called 911. The victim told police that she chose that parking lot because there were other Asian people there. After waiting for 15 minutes for officers, she decided to leave that location because she didn’t feel like it was safe to stay.
The victim says that her friends encouraged her to post on Facebook about the incident. A friend of her husband’s identified the suspect as Christopher Hamner, who is an employee at the VA Hospital. The victim says that Hamner’s Facebook page shows him wearing the same tennis shoes he was wearing the photos she took at the time of the incident.
The victim told police that she thought the suspect was going to shoot her and her children. She is Chinese and Malaysian, and her children are Chinese, Malaysian and African American.
In another incident on March 19, 2021 at around 4 p.m., two Asian women were driving in the4700 block of Beacon Avenue S. near the Fou Lee Market. They observed a dark sedan drive ahead on their right side, and noticed the driver stop and look back at them. The suspect vehicle had a clear lane ahead of him, but he stayed ahead of their vehicle, starting and stopping abruptly. The victim slowed down to give him space, then as they approached the traffic light at S Columbian Way, she saw the driver of the suspect vehicle stop on the right side of the road. This caused her to stop well before she needed to as she was afraid to drive by the suspect vehicle.
The traffic signal ahead of them turned green and all the traffic proceeded to move forward. Both the victim and suspect vehicle did not move with traffic. After about 4-5 seconds of being stopped, the victim decided to attempt to pass the suspect vehicle. As she got close, the vehicle cut her off and stopped in the middle of the road blocking all southbound traffic. The driver of the vehicle proceeded to open his door and yell at them, shouting “F–k you Asian!”
After the suspect yelled that, he shut his door. The victim immediately turned into a parking space in the median of Beacon Ave S. and stopped and turned to look back at the suspect. The suspect had gotten out of his vehicle and began charging at her vehicle. While charging the vehicle he continued to yell loudly. They were unable to hear what he was saying. While charging at them, the suspect also threw a plastic item towards their vehicle. The license plate on the vehicle driven by the suspect returned to a car registered to Christopher Hamner. The driver was clearly Hamner, compared with his driver license photo. Video captured by the victim’s dash camera recorded the sounds of the victims’ frightened response to Hamner’s actions. Both stated they were afraid the suspect would assault them. The victim stated she was also afraid he would cause damage to the vehicle. Due to the suspect charging at them, pointing and yelling, this caused the victims to believe they were in imminent danger of assault and property damage. They rolled up the window to the vehicle and left the area northbound on Beacon Ave S.
Hamner is expected to remain in jail unless he posts bail on the $75,000 bail amount set by a judge.