A group of eight white supremacists in Washington state are under investigation by the FBI for hate crimes, accused of brutally attacking a black DJ over the weekend during an annual celebration of a white supremacist “martyr” who died in the ’80s.
Seven men and one woman were arrested Saturday in Lynnwood on charges of assault, hate crimes and others, according to a Snohomish County Sheriff’s press release.
The suspects were “self-professed members of the neo-Nazi skinhead group” Aryan Brotherhood, and included Travis David Condor, a violent former soldier from Pittsburgh, notable for his arrest after beating a homeless man with a baseball bat in Cincinnati. He runs the hate label American Defense Records and was spotted at the deadly “Unite the Right” neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville last year, marching alongside members of the white supremacist group Hammerskin Nation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Just after midnight, Condor and seven others entered the Rec Room Bar and Grill and immediately began harassing the DJ, who is black, police said. They tried to take his equipment, and then beat him to the ground and stomped on him while shouting racial slurs, according to The Associated Press. An Asian man who came to the victim’s defense was also injured.
“We do not and will not ever tolerate acts of hate in Snohomish County. The violent behavior directed at members of our community over the weekend simply because of their race is disgusting. The Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the FBI in hopes of getting the strongest sentencing possible for these hate crimes,” said Sheriff Ty Trenary in a statement.
Some of the responding officers stayed at the bar and made arrests, while others chased after neo-Nazis who tried to flee in different vehicles.
According to the AP, the other suspects included Randy A. Smith, 38, of Eugene, Oregon, whose hands were bloodied after the assault, as well as:
- Leah Northcraft, 25, of Raleigh, North Carolina
- Nathaniel Woodell, 32, of Woodstock, Illinois
- Daniel Dorson, 23, of Corvallis, Oregon
- Cory Colwell, 34, of Eugene, Oregon
- Guy Miller, 37, of Tacoma, Washington
- Vincent B. Nutter, 28, of Bothell, Washington
Police believe that the group, mostly from the Pacific Northwest, was in the state for the anniversary of the death of Robert Jay Mathews. He was the leader of the white separatist group The Order, killed during a shootout with the FBI in the state in 1984. His followers call the anniversary “Martyr’s Day,” the AP reports.
Each suspect was booked on charges that included assault, harassment and malicious harassment, Washington state’s hate crime law. They were held on $15,000 bail except for Colwell, who was released on his own recognizance.
The attack came just days after the conviction of James Alex Fields Jr., a neo-Nazi found guilty on Friday of 10 charges related to the killing of activist Heather Heyer during the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.