KOMO NEWS, SEATTLE -- Police here have arrested a man accused of threatening a local woman and her baby because of their race and religion.
The incident took place on July 1 when the 25-year-old woman and her 6-month-old baby visited the Seattle Indian Health Board at 611 12th Avenue South, according to the statement of probable cause.
Investigators said Eric Gardner reportedly made derogatory comments like "You Muslim people scare people when you wear that clothing," and "When I see a black woman, it makes me want to throw up."
The alarmed mother said she asked him what was wrong, to which he responded, "I'm talking to you fucking Muslim people," the document said.
When the woman said, "What I wear does not make me a bad person," Gardner told her, "You scare people," and cursed at her, the woman told detectives.
The woman tried to move away from the aggressive man, but he followed her. He then pulled out a sheath knife with an 8 to 10 inch blade, held it in front of her face and said, "I'm going to cut you and your baby with this knife," the statement said.
Gardner slammed the knife on the counter, struggling to get it out of the sheath, detectives said. A staff member of the health clinic reached over and took the knife away from the suspect.
"I just heard a big slam on the counter and I looked over and it was a knife," said employee Alissa Stewart. "My first instinct was to grab it and get it out of reach."
Gardner then lunged over the counter, grabbed the knife out of Stewart's hand and fled, investigators said.
Another clinic employee who had dealt with the boisterous man earlier in the day identified him as Eric Gardner.
Police found Gardner walking in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood the following night. They said Gardner, who was carrying a knife, admitted he had "pulled a knife on a Muslim woman earlier in the day because he was 'doing his part to defend America,'" according to the statement.
The threatened woman said she was scared for her and her son's lives when a man came after her at the clinic. She said she believes she would've been stabbed if the employee hadn't interfered.
"I feel scared and disappointed that he judged the Muslim people," the woman said in a statement. "It's not only about the judgment. He wanted to kill me and my 6-month-old son. I just want people to look at Muslims as human beings. There are a lot of good people in America. Muslims are not bad people."
Gardner, 24, has a long criminal history with prior convictions for assault and felony harassment. He is being held at the King County Jail on $100,000 bail.
Click to view image: '09736d39c397-090708_eric_gardner.jpg'
Tags: racist, bigot, criminal, coward, threatens, woman, baby, knife, arrested, jailed
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States (load item map)
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