The U.S. Attorney’s Office has indicted four self-described neo-Nazi skinheads from Idaho, Oregon and Washington for hate crimes and making false statements in the beating of a Black DJ at a Lynnwood bar during a 2018 celebration of “Martyrs Day,” the anniversary of the death of white supremacist Robert Jay Mathews.
The indictment by a grand jury in Seattle names Jason Desimas, 44, of Tacoma; Jason Stanley, 43, of Boise; Randy Smith, 38, of Eugene, Ore., and Daniel Delbert Dorson, 24, of Corvallis, Ore. The men were charged with three counts of federal hate crime and four counts of making false statements to FBI agents.
The indictment stems from an investigation by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI of the Dec. 8, 2018, beating at The Rec Room Bar & Grill, in which several men assaulted the DJ when he refused to change the music.
The men allegedly uttered racial slurs and kicked and beat the DJ and two other men. Eight men were arrested, including at least one man identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a member and founder of a racist group and white-power record label.
That individual was not among the four indicted late Wednesday. The case was unsealed Friday afternoon.
The indictment accuses the men of making “racially derogatory comments” while assaulting the man, who is identified in the indictment by the initials T.S. The men “willfully caused bodily injury” to the DJ and two other men involved in the fight “and did so because of T.S.’s actual and perceived race.”
In an interview shortly after the attack, the DJ told The Seattle Times that during the beating, one of the men told him, “We will find you, and we will kill you.”
The DJ said he had been playing rhythm and blues and Top 40 pop tunes when someone from the group told him to play the “hard stuff,” meaning heavy metal.
The DJ said he complied and showed the man he had cued music by Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath on his Mac computer, but that wasn’t good enough and he was assaulted.
“What, they couldn’t wait a minute and a half, two minutes? That’s all they had to wait to get to their music?” the DJ said. He went on to say they beat him and called him a racist epithet.
The date of the assault was significant in that several members of the group had been at an annual “Martyrs Day” anniversary on Whidbey Island, commemorating the 1984 death of Mathews during a shootout with the FBI.
Mathews was founder and leader of The Order, an outlaw neo-Nazi group with deep Washington ties that authorities said roamed the Western U.S. plotting a race war financed by bank robberies and other crimes.
Members of The Order were convicted in connection with the 1984 killing of Jewish Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg.
According to the indictment, the false statement counts stem from denials by Desimas to the FBI that he and others used racist language during the assault. The indictment also claims Stanley lied about being present at the bar; that Smith lied about how he had bloodied his knuckles; and that Dorson lied about attending the “Martyrs Day” celebration on Whidbey earlier and said “he had not owned a jacket associated with white supremacy hate groups,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
U.S. Attorney Brian Moran, in announcing the indictment in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., said his office “has a long and distinguished history of prosecuting those who act on hate.
“Whether it is ‘The Order’ in the 1980s, the ‘Atomwaffen’ of today, or this group accused of assaulting a Black man at a local business. … These defendants will be held accountable for their criminal conduct,” Moran said.
The hate crime charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The false statement charges are punishable by up to five years in custody.
Moran said two of the men, Smith and Stanley, are in custody in Oregon and Idaho on unrelated charges and will be returned to Washington to face prosecution.
Dorson was expected to appear before a U.S. Magistrate in Oregon on Friday. A warrant has been issued for Desimas’ arrest.