Update: Charges filed in Highland Park attack, 1 suspect jailed

September 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 34 Comments

ORIGINAL 5:18 PM UPDATE: Our partners at the Seattle Times are reporting that charges have been filed against two men in connection with the May 25th beating of a teenager in Highland Park. According to the Times report, they are the same two men questioned by police the morning the teenager was found beaten and bloodied, saying his attackers had made racist remarks (here’s our June report with the narrative from the police report); the report also says they are charged with robbery and malicious harassment, and that they are not in custody (which our check of the jail register confirms). We are looking up the court documents and will add more to the story when we get them.

7:05 PM UPDATE: One of the suspects is now booked into jail – 21-year-old Jonathan Baquiring was jailed less than an hour ago, according to the King County Jail Register.

7:27 PM UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James is talking more about the case at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, which we’re covering right now at the precinct. He says the Anti-Crime Team picked up Baquiring within an hour of getting word of the warrant, which seeks to have both (the other is 22-year-old Ahmed Y. Mohamed) held in lieu of half a million dollars bail each.

10:35 PM UPDATE: We now have downloaded the court documents. While most of the narrative is exactly the same as the original police report transcribed in our June report and linked above, this one contains, in the charging paperwork, the statement: “The only motivation for the defendants appears to have been money and the race of the victim” (the “malicious harassment” charge acknowledges the fact it’s an alleged hate crime). And there is information about the DNA evidence – read on:

As noted in the original narrative, an investigating officer swabbed dried blood from the hands of both suspects while questioning them near the scene the morning after the attack. The new court documents say an investigator also swabbed the victim’s cheek while meeting with him to review photo lineups on June 4th (at which time, the document says, the victim chose the photos of both of the men who are now charged).

The investigator writes that he submitted the victim’s cheek swabs to the Seattle Police Evidence Unit on June 10th, with a request for the Washington State Crime Lab to do a DNA test comparing it with the blood swabbed off the victims’ hands the morning after the attack. The report took almost three months, according to the court documents:

On 9/8/10 I received a report from the Washington State Crime Lab. The DNA exam was completed by (technician) … She concluded that the swabs taken from the suspects’ hands were swabs of human blood. She confirmed that the swab of blood removed from Jonathan Baquiring’s hands matched the blood profile of the victim … The estimated probability of selecting an unrelated individual at random from the US population with a matching profile is 1 in 2.4 quintillion. The swab of blood collected from the hand of Ahmed Mohamed is a mixture consistent with originating from two individuals. (The victim) is included as a potential contributor to this mixture. Based on the US population, it is estimated that 1 in 8.6 thousand people could be a contributor to this mixed profile.

We just checked again, and Mohamed is not yet on the jail roster. According to the court documents, he has one conviction on his record, carrying a concealed weapon; Baquiring is described as having “no known criminal record.”

34 Comments

  1. Let’s all bow our heads in prayer that when these creeps are caught that they don’t get Judge Slap your hands Washington. They need to be put on a chain gang 14 hours a day and taught a lesson. IF they get out of line take your belt off and hit them with it, or burn them with a cigarette. Punks like this should not be allowed in society.

    Comment by Silly Goose — 5:31 pm September 21, 2010 #

  2. I still don’t understand why it took this long to file charges and I also don’t understand why they aren’t in custody. If they did it once, why wouldn’t they do it again? Especially if they know they can go this long without any real consequences! I just hope no one else gets hurt before they are behind bars. I live a block away from where this happened and it makes me sick.

    Comment by MB — 5:58 pm September 21, 2010 #

  3. I still don’t get it…blood on their hands, drinking the drink they found at the scene, smoking the same cigarettes as were at the scene…why were they ever allowed to go…at least take them in and question them? I’m on the side of the police but this is very confusing….there seemed to be a LOT of incriminating evidence…can this be explained by the police?

    Comment by onceachef — 5:59 pm September 21, 2010 #

  4. Malicious harrassment is “hate crime”. This should be interesting. Do we start taking bets as to what state they’re now in? Like one far, far away?

    Comment by JanS — 6:23 pm September 21, 2010 #

  5. As added to the story, one suspect is now in jail – same team will be going out after the 2nd one. We’re at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, where Lt. Norm James was asked about the case – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:27 pm September 21, 2010 #

  6. I don’t know which are the bigger morons; the authorities who did not bring charges for months, with such a preponderance of evidence – or the scumbags who hung around for months waiting to be arrested.
    .
    What a thoroughly messed-up legal system, the one in our city.

    Comment by lenguamor — 9:00 pm September 21, 2010 #

  7. Hell, it may have taken what seems like a long time, but at least the charges are filed and the men are being taken into custody. I’d rather hear about our police departments doing things thoroughly than not doing them at all. There being a rock solid case against these guys that actually gets them the punishment they deserve is what is key here.

    Comment by duecredit — 9:14 pm September 21, 2010 #

  8. I’ll be very interested to see if they DO get the punishment they deserve. And I agree that I’d rather have things done right and thoroughly, but not at the expense of everyone else’s safety. These guys have been roaming around for months. It’s a wonder they haven’t hurt anyone else or disappeared. I sure hope whatever they took all this time to come up with is rock solid so these creeps won’t get out only having learned they can commit a crime like this and go home to sleep in their own beds the very same night.

    Comment by MB — 9:38 pm September 21, 2010 #

  9. Thank goodness they finally arrested these d-bags. Hopefully the case is rock solid and they go away for a very long time.

    Comment by SeandSki — 10:44 pm September 21, 2010 #

  10. Why did the DNA samples taken from the suspects June 10 take until Sept. 8 to get back?

    Four months? Really?

    Comment by Kate K — 12:12 am September 22, 2010 #

  11. This has been going on a long time. As I noted in an earlier report, we were doing stories about the state crime lab backlog when I was still in TV, and I’ve been out three years now.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010821741_apwacrimelabbacklog1stldwritethru.html

    Comment by WSB — 1:09 am September 22, 2010 #

  12. Kate K…it’s only on fictitional TeeVee shows that DNA results happen in an hour :) Four months does seem like a long time. I wonder if pregnant women who are looking for paternity have to wait that long…baby would we talking and eating steak by the time daddy is figured out, huh…

    let’s hope this is solid, solid proof that these guys need to be put away. Many people are saying they think this whole incident is sketchy. Doesn’t matter – no one deserves to be beaten that way.

    Comment by JanS — 7:02 am September 22, 2010 #

  13. Where’s James Bible when you need him.

    Comment by West Seattle — 7:31 am September 22, 2010 #

  14. boys will be boys….have fun in prison, BOYS!

    Comment by wolfbain — 10:28 am September 22, 2010 #

  15. Well if they get a smart defense lawyer, which they will and probably paid for by James Bible and the NAACP, the hate crime charge will be dropped.
    Why?
    Because the lawyer will use the same argument that the Seattle School District uses in saying that minorities CAN NOT be racists or hold any prejudices because in order to be/hold those you have to have power, and since whites have ALL the power ONLY whites can be racists.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 10:57 am September 22, 2010 #

  16. Anyone can be a racist or a bigot, but when was the last time you heard a story about a white guy beating up a black guy, and everyone wringing their hands over how terrible it was? What’s racist is what is considered newsworthy and what isn’t. It would be nice if people cared when something bad happens to someone who isn’t white. Instead we get reports like the white girl who said a black woman threw acid in her face, which was a lie, only everyone believed her – or the white “runaway bride” who said she was abducted by a black man – also a lie. And every time we get these stories about scary minorities doing terrible, scary things to white people, it only reinforces xenophobia. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but out of all the crimes that occur, we should keep it in perspective and try to see the broader context. What percentage of violent crime is committed by (heterosexual) white people?

    Comment by sarelly — 11:22 am September 22, 2010 #

  17. Personally (and this is just me) I don’t give a flying f*@k what race any of these people are, victim or perp. I grew up i West Seattle and live 2 blocks away from where this happened and all I want is to know that those 2 men in particular are not who is passing me on the street while I walk my dog. And as far as the other two cases you mentioned, what those women did was totally wrong, plain and simple. I’m pretty sure no one who argue that it wasn’t. We, on this board, are all people living together in one community and we want to know that if someone tortures and beats another human being (especially a child) for hours on end, that they will be put away and I would hope quickly enough so they don’t hurt anyone else…regardless of race.

    Comment by MB — 11:47 am September 22, 2010 #

  18. You know what, I just re-read your comment sarelly and I think it sucks that you would insinuate that people don’t care if a non white person is hurt. Again, I can only speak for myself and I know the media isn’t very helpful in changing the perspective you have, but the media doesn’t speak for me and what I think and who I care about, nor does it represent 99 percent of the people I know and live among.

    Comment by MB — 11:51 am September 22, 2010 #

  19. MB, I agree with you. We don’t need violent people walking around our neighborhoods.

    Comment by sarelly — 12:15 pm September 22, 2010 #

  20. This is the point I was trying to make. According to the FBI’s statistics from 2002, the majority of hate crimes were based on race, and committed by white people against people of color, the majority of whom were black, and the vast majority of hate crimes based on religion were committed against Jewish people. In 2004, also according to the FBI, more than half of the hate crimes were again based on race, and of those, 67.9 were because of anti-black attitudes, and 20.1 were because of anti-white attitudes. Of hate crimes based on religion, 67.8 were directed at Jews, while 12.7 were directed at Muslims. Of known offenders, 60.6 were white, and 19.7 were black. So before anyone begins to rant about unfairly applied definitions of “hate crimes,” let’s look honestly at who is really committing them the majority of the time. I doubt much has changed in the last six years.

    Comment by sarelly — 1:19 pm September 22, 2010 #

  21. Sarelly,

    Those stats are a bit misleading. How many times have non-whites been charged with a hate crime against whites for the same crime whites have been charged against non-whites. There is a VERY REAL BIAS when it comes to charging non-whites with hate crimes against whites because of the reason I posted.
    A white that assaults a non-white is MORE likely to be charged with a hate crime than if a non-white assaults a white, THAT is known fact.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 1:36 pm September 22, 2010 #

  22. Ex-Westwood – That may be the case, but are the statistics based on formal charges or on incidents/occurrences? Does the legal definition of an incident mean that charges were filed or convictions were made – or does it just mean what was reported? It looks like the FBI bases their numbers on incidents reported, not on charges filed or conviction rates. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2008/methodology.html I think it’s a fair question as to how often white people report hate crimes as such – who decides what is or isn’t a hate crime? Is it the victim, or is it the police? If it is the police, how do they arrive at that definition? Another question would be about population. What percentage of Seattle’s total population is white/black/asian/native american, etc. and how does that breakdown compare with the City’s statistics on hate crimes? Certainly it is more dangerous to be, for example, a black gay Jewish man than it is to be a white straight Christian man. That being said, what occurred in the above-mentioned attack definitely sounds like a hate crime, and should be, in my opinion, prosecuted as a hate crime.

    Comment by sarelly — 2:23 pm September 22, 2010 #

  23. Sarelly: You pointed out that “Of known offenders, 60.6 were white, and 19.7 were black.”

    According to the Census Bureau in 2008, 75% of the US population was White, including Latino, or 65.4% White, non Latino. 12.4% was Black or African-American.

    Your argument of who is “really committing them the majority of the time” looks a little different when you look at it based on the percentages of those populations.

    Comment by Lets not get carried away — 3:19 pm September 22, 2010 #

  24. The reality is nobody should be committing these heinous hate acts. If you try to lay blame more squarely on one population over another, you can create excuses out of victimhood and run counter to the primary goal which is to eliminate horrific crimes with a hate component.

    Comment by Lets not get carried away — 3:27 pm September 22, 2010 #

  25. So I think it would come to whether the victim in any incident, if he or she were the only witness, would be believed if he or she claimed the attacked was overtly motivated by any type of bias.

    Comment by sarelly — 3:35 pm September 22, 2010 #

  26. It’s difficult for me to believe that this 16 year old owned (owns) slaves. What if he is a descendant of John Brown? Or the hundreds of people of all colors, predominantly white, who ran the underground railroad, at risk of their lives & the lives of their families? What about the black people who “hid” with the Native American tribes, because the tribes offered the black people asylum, but the black people turned in the hiding place of the Native Americans, & the tribe was exterminated to the last child? Does that make it right for Native Americans to kill black people because black people did this in the past?

    WHEN DOES IT STOP??? WITH EACH ONE OF US!!!

    Comment by Deborah — 3:57 pm September 22, 2010 #

  27. @ Lets not get carried away – the FBI numbers are based on a pool of reported incidents, not on the demographics of the U.S. population.

    Comment by sarelly — 6:35 pm September 22, 2010 #

  28. @ Sarelly – Exactly. My point is that comparing your FBI statistics to Census statistics, a greater percentage of Black-African Americans have committed hate crimes than White. I only put this comparison out to give context to rethink your statement that the majority of these crimes were committed by whites. It’s not that simple and you create a victimized group, in essence creating an excuse for those in that group who CHOOSE to commit these heinous acts. Victimized groups often contend some sort of compulsion for such acts. Not true — EVERYONE makes a CHOICE to commit hate crimes or not.

    Closely following on, I want to reiterate my next comment: “The reality is nobody should be committing these heinous hate acts. If you try to lay blame more squarely on one population over another, you can create excuses out of victimhood and run counter to the primary goal which is to eliminate horrific crimes with a hate component.”

    Victimhood is too often used as an excuse. Don’t promote it. There is and only should be one standard for these heinous hate crimes and it should be applied equally to all.

    Comment by Lets not get carried away — 8:02 pm September 22, 2010 #

  29. sarelly,
    The decision of filing hate crime charges is on the onus of the District Attorney, not the victim or police.
    12.4% of the population is committing 19.7% of the hate crimes according to your data. What’s wrong with that picture?

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 9:49 pm September 22, 2010 #

  30. There is no correlation between the number of reported hate crimes incidents with their related demographics and the national population. No correlation at all. These are two completely separate groups of numbers. What I was getting at is that the issue is perhaps more complex than the FBI numbers suggest. If you think the numbers are wrong, tell the FBI. Do you think most people who work for the FBI are white? Do you think they’re lying? Do you think there is something wrong with the way they collect information?

    No one is saying hate crimes are okay as long as someone can claim “victimhood” status. That’s ridiculous. You might want, at some point in your life, to examine your assumptions, acquire a sense of history, and learn about the situation of people outside your own white culture. You might want to learn what white privilege is, and realize that you have it, and have always had it. You might want to become aware of the fact that not everyone shares your experience of the culture. And if you’re feeling defensive about any mention of the existence of racism, you might want to ask yourself why.

    Comment by sarelly — 12:28 pm September 23, 2010 #

  31. sarelly,

    First of all, HOW THE HECK DO YOU KNOW I’M WHITE????
    Second, I have NEVER seen anyone who did not work hard fail to achieve their goals, NO MATTER THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN!!!
    Third, I have seen WHITE people that play the “race card” as an excuse for not getting what they THINK they deserve because of AA.
    Fourth, YOU might want to look at YOUR view on RACISM and start to realize that scumbags come from ALL COLORS!!!!

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 2:25 pm September 23, 2010 #

  32. Sarelly, I’m not white. Don’t tell me I need to examine my assumptions when all you do is assume. It’s ridiculous.

    And you can correlate FBI stats with Census stats. Just because you didn’t, doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

    Comment by Lets not get carried away — 2:51 pm September 23, 2010 #

  33. IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that the people who assaulted this kid are criminals who should be in prison; that there is no excuse for violent crime, that there is no possible justification for attacking a random stranger; and that to do so because of any perceived difference is a hate crime. It GOES WITHOUT SAYING that what happened to the victim is horrible. Excuse me for ASSUMING you’d have the common decency to know that.

    Comment by sarelly — 9:22 am September 25, 2010 #

  34. I’m sure Ahmed appreciates his 4 month head start.

    Comment by paul — 10:00 am October 2, 2010 #

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