Hate crime charges have been filed against a Washington state man who authorities say taunted, groped and assaulted a married lesbian couple at a Seattle Seahawks game.
According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Jay Dee Harp III, 34, faces charges of second-degree assault, third-degree assault and malicious harassment. The latter of the three charges is the legal term for a hate crime in the state.
State police tased and arrested the Tacoma man on Dec. 30, after he allegedly attacked two married women inside the CenturyLink Field stadium during the Seahawks home game against the Arizona Cardinals.
According to newly filed court documents HuffPost obtained, authorities allege a “highly intoxicated” Harp spent the majority of the football game making “crude, vulgar comments” toward the women.
King County Deputy Prosecutor Rhyan claimed Harp called one of the women a “fucking dyke” and said, “Do you need a man in your life?” In another instance, Harp was allegedly seen “motioning towards his mid-section and thrusting his hands” before asking the women if they, “wanted some dick.”
The video below posted to YouTube appears to show the alleged assault and may be upsetting to some readers.
Things took a turn for the worse during the third quarter of the game when authorities say Harp physically assaulted one of the women.
“When the defendant returned from purchasing a beer, the defendant grabbed the victim’s wife, unzipped her jacket, and grabbed her breast,” Anderson wrote in court documents. “When several bystanders intervened … the defendant fought them off and punched the other female victim in the face, causing a nose bleed, significant pain, and breaking her front tooth in half.”
A witness to the incident restrained Harp and held him until police arrived on the scene. The court documents allege Harp resisted arrest and punched one of the officers in the stomach before he was tased and taken into custody.
In a written statement included in court documents, one of the victims said:
“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.”
According to Seattle’s KIRO-TV, the woman who was punched underwent nose surgery on Monday.
Authorities jailed Harp for investigation of malicious harassment and felony assault. He was released the following day after posting a $25,000 bond. In light of the circumstances, prosecutors are now asking the court to raise that bond to $100,000.
“The requested bail amount more appropriately takes into account the violent nature of the defendant’s attack,” Anderson wrote in court documents.
“While the defendant has no known criminal history, the defendant’s willingness to sexually assault a female — a complete stranger — in a crowded sports stadium and then violently punch another female victim in the face demonstrates that he is a clear danger to the community,” the prosecutor added.
A spokesperson at the prosecutor’s office told HuffPost that Harp is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 16. Court records do not list an attorney for him. HuffPost was unable to contact Harp on Thursday.
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