The 55-year-old suspect was charged in two recent incidents in Bellevue — one at a gas station involving three men of Syrian descent, and another at a thrift shop involving a man of Ethiopian descent.
A 55-year-old man was charged Friday with hate crimes in two separate incidents in Bellevue.
Kenneth Dean Sjarpe, whose last known address was in Snoqualmie, is in King County Jail on two counts of malicious harassment, with bail set at $225,000.
If convicted as charged, the King County Prosecutor’s Office said, sentencing guidelines call for about 12 months’ imprisonment.
In an altercation at a gas station in the early evening of May 23, Sjarpe allegedly yelled at three men of Syrian descent, “Go back to your country you …,” ending with a racial slur.
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The encounter at the Arco AM/PM on Northup Way continued with an exchange of the f-word and with one of the reporting victims stating, “Come over here and say that to my face.”
Sjarpe allegedly said at one point, “I’ll kill you, I’ll shoot you, go back home you Muslim …,” ending that tirade with another insult.
The alleged victims said that Sjarpe got into his Ford Bronco and drove toward the men, swerving away “at the last second” and driving off.
Video surveillance cameras caught the incident.
A report by Bellevue police Detective Steven Hooper said the video shows one of the alleged victims pumping gas, reacting to something, “and then is seen waving his arms and yelling at something off camera.”
The report said that another of the alleged victims is seen getting out of the passenger seat of his car, “also starts yelling and appears to raise his middle finger toward the subject.”
The report said the video then shows the Bronco moving “toward the subjects’ car,” with one person jumping back, and then the Bronco is seen leaving the scene.
Hooper said the next day he happened to see Sjarpe walking along Northup Way toward a travel trailer. He interviewed Sjarpe about the incident and wrote in his report that Sjarpe “became animated and his voice got louder as he started talking about how he hated those people.”
When the detective asked whom he was referring to, Hooper wrote, “He said the Iranians, Indians, Middle Easterners. He said they shouldn’t be in our country. How they’re taking our jobs. He said he supports Trump in keeping them out.”
In the second incident, in the early afternoon of June 1 at the Jubilee REACH Thrift Store, Sjarpe allegedly approached an Ethiopian immigrant — who told police he came here 37 years ago — and yelled, “I hate …,” ending that sentence with a racial slur, court documents say.
The alleged victim says he ignored Sjarpe, but Sjarpe followed him upstairs in the thrift shop, where there was no exit. Sjarpe then allegedly said, “I want you guys out of my country, you [N-word]. If you don’t leave, I’ll make you disappear.”
Court papers say that Sjarpe had his hands up, and that the victim “was fearful,” as there were knives in the vicinity and no escape.
The report said the alleged victim cried out for help, that others intervened and Sjarpe was forced out.
Sjarpe then allegedly returned to the thrift store on June 6 and 7, again using racial slurs, and again screaming about “people from India taking our jobs.”
Charging papers say Sjarpe has an extensive criminal history, ranging from harassment to distributing marijuana in a large-scale operation.