CRIME WATCH UPDATE: Man charged with felony hate crime after shoplift-turned-assaults in Westwood Target

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: A man is in jail for investigation of hate crimes and assault after an incident at Westwood Target on Tuesday afternoon. Police say they got first word around 1:12 pm when a store manager called 911 to ask for help with a “previous shoplifter who had returned and was causing a disturbance.” Target security asked him to leave; the police summary says the man then “made racially biased comments and indicated he intended to fight with someone.” Target security offered him food to try to “de-escalate” while escorting him out, but the man, police say, “began randomly assaulting people, apparently based on their race, resulting in one person being (choked) and four being assaulted by various means.” That’s when police arrived and took him into custody. Seattle Fire says no one suffered major injuries; SFD treated one person, a 36-year-old man, for what they called “minor injuries.” The photo is from a person who texted us about this yesterday; we didn’t get details until today. The texter says they and others inside the store at the time intervened to keep things from getting worse before police arrived. We don’t yet know the suspect’s name so we don’t know whether he’s still in jail.

ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: We’ve obtained the probable-cause documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office – in essence a far-more detailed version of the police report. Here’s the narrative, with the 36-year-old suspect’s name redacted as he is not yet charged (though the KCPAO tells us a charging decision could happen later today):

At 1312 hours on 08/02/2022, a disturbance call was generated at 2800 SW Barton (Target store). The following was advised: “INSIDE, MALE SHOPLIFTING, STATING THAT HE WANTS TO HURTS PEOPLE AND “IS WILLING TO GO TO JAIL THE RIGHT WAY”, NO ASLT, NO WPNS SEEN.”

Upon arriving to the location, it appeared the store had been evacuated as dozens of people were standing outside the front door. Officers were guided to the location of (suspect) who appeared to be waiting for police around the checkout area. He was detained by officers without incident.

Store security provided a recorded statement relating the following: He observed (suspect) steal two energy drinks earlier in the day, exiting the store without payment. Store security observed (suspect) reenter the store, talking to himself. Store security approached (suspect) who related he was in his predicament due to privileged white people. Wanting to get (suspect) out of the store peacefully, store security offered to provide (suspect) with food if he’d leave. (suspect) remarked that he wanted to hurt people. Store security was alarmed, raised his palms in defense, and made a, “whoa,” remark. (suspect) replied he would not harm the store security officer because he was a person of color. (suspect) then remarked loudly that he wanted to hurt white people. While in the store, (suspect) approached a family of four adults, yelling it was all their fault whilst kicking their cart and trying to get the family to fight. (suspect) threw an open energy drink in the face of one, causing the liquid to enter his eyes and struck the same subject in the lower left hip with an avocado from a distance of between 5-15’, causing significant swelling. The victim’s father was struck in the back of the head by what he believed to be a muffin which did not cause injury.

(suspect) approached an adult male and punched him in the back of the head without any provocation, causing pain. (suspect) threw a full, unopened plastic water bottle which struck an adult female in the back of the head, causing pain. (suspect) approached an adult male, placed his hand around his throat and squeezed for a duration of approximately ten to fifteen seconds. The victim (name redacted), related he did not think he lost the ability to breathe but had visible redness/bruising around his throat and stated it hurt to swallow; he was seen by SFD medics on scene. All of the aforementioned victims appeared to be either Caucasian or of fair complexion. (suspect) was placed under arrest for investigation of hate crime and investigation of assault. I am additionally requesting charges for the four other victims of assault in the fourth degree.

(suspect) was advised of his “Miranda Rights,” which he stated he understood. (suspect) wouldn’t speak at length with me, but when asked why he assaulted the people inside the store, he related they knew why. He declined to speak further. (suspect) was transported to KCJ for booking.

The suspect’s bail was set at $25,000, as requested by the KCPAO.

ADDED 3:50 PM: The KCPAO has just charged the suspect, Kevin Parkman Jr., with one felony count of hate crime. The documents filed with the charge have the same narrative as published above. The document also mentions Parkman has “five active warrants and seven convictions for violating court orders.”

41 Replies to "CRIME WATCH UPDATE: Man charged with felony hate crime after shoplift-turned-assaults in Westwood Target"

  • Ann August 3, 2022 (7:38 pm)

    This happens all the time at my sons job. I saw a robbery in daylight and the guy ran away with all the clothes in this hands with the price tags still on them. I was sick then my son tells me security was in the store but let him go. I felt like throwing up. What? Wait! WTF have security in a store if they won’t be able to stop a robbery? I want to do this job of security.  I can stand by and let robbery go on and do absolutely nothing too. Hire me! 

    • Alki resident August 4, 2022 (2:16 pm)

      Happens all day long at Marshall’s. 

    • Out of curiosity August 4, 2022 (10:58 pm)

      The main reason most retailers will not try to detain/restrain during these incidents is because if the person is hurt during their detainment they now have cause for litigation towards that store (asinine and dumb but this is where we are at with the legal system in the United States). So stores are more willing to file what was stolen to insurance than try to stop crime on the spot. They are in their eyes “saving the brand”. Now with this running rampant throughout the city, they know nothing will happen and so the cycle continues. 

  • Double Standards August 3, 2022 (8:46 pm)

    Of course the news won’t mention it, but since I was there I certainly can: it was a black man attacking white people.  Nothing to see here, folks, it’s only shocking and newsworthy when the situation is reversed.

    • WSB August 3, 2022 (9:59 pm)

      Absolutely not true – hate crimes have been reported regardless of who’s insulting/attacking/etc. who. What’s above is all the information we’ve obtained so far – nothing on the suspect’s or victims’ race in the police summary, or yes, we would have mentioned it. We’ll likely be able to access further details tomorrow if there was a probable-cause/bail hearing today – TR

    • SpencerGT August 3, 2022 (11:35 pm)

      I appreciate that they did not mention race, in this article.

      • Question Authority August 4, 2022 (9:44 am)

        It should be mentioned so citizens who frequent the area can be more aware of potential issues by narrowing the list of perpetrators.  It’s inevitable he will return so why not lessen the risk he poses by being more informed.  It’s not unfair to identify those responsible, they are at fault regardless of color.

    • Curtis August 4, 2022 (7:39 am)

      Thank you for those details.  

    • Jort August 4, 2022 (8:14 am)

      I’m curious if you’d like to take a moment to explain why you felt this information was important for people to know, and why you’re upset that it wasn’t mentioned in the story. Could you please help me and others understand your thinking on this? I’d really love to know. Specifically: why do you think the race of the attacker and victim is important for people know? Seriously. Please help me understand.

  • Ryan August 3, 2022 (9:09 pm)

    Our liberal community will let them out tomorrow and chalk it up to mental illness… Who cares if he assaults innocent people… Set him free… So tired of reading these stories!  i’m at the point of having no sympathy for any of these people even the ones that may be deserve it. That is what is unfortunate!Change needs to come, regular citizens need to feel safe

    • Scubafrog August 4, 2022 (12:33 am)

      I hate to say it, but I don’t think we’re going to see more police, nor less violent crime for a long time.  Mayor Harrell’s plan would slowly add  police over a span of many years – if approved at all.  It’s fubar, and it’s squarely at the feet of elected progressives that we’re in this mess.  Maybe a more moderate council would speed said process up, if herbold et al lose to better candidates, who care about safety.

    • flimflam August 4, 2022 (7:22 am)

      yeah, sometimes i fell bad about it but my empathy meter has been on LOW for a while now.

  • Moima August 4, 2022 (5:29 am)

     Every ethic group has its bad apples. From your comment I get the impression that you are attempting to generalize a whole group by saying “these” people instead of looking at the suspect as an individual with bad intentions. “Regular People” need to feel safe.. What are you implying here?First commentor also makes me question if  West Seattle is way more covertly discriminatory than  they’d like to admit.To both commentors I say this: Check in with yourself and the bias you’re holding. 

    • Stephanie August 5, 2022 (9:33 pm)

      I believe they mean “regular people” as in regular people who don’t shoplift energy drinks from Target multiple times a day and when they’re asked to leave, strangle random shoppers causing the store to shut down. 

  • anonyme August 4, 2022 (6:39 am)

    This, and the other story about the shooting at or near the Westwood bus stop is why I never go near the place anymore – not even to transfer buses.  Instead, I walk to Arbor Heights from Barton & 35th, simply to avoid that stop.  It’s just too scummy.

  • one voice August 4, 2022 (11:39 am)

    All citizens need to feel safe, not just the wealthy and stable.

    The sad reality is that inequity, poverty, and issues of humanity can lead to these situations and crimes.

    It’s not like there are just people born ‘regular’ and ‘not regular.’ It’s complex.

    But, maybe there’s a chance if this man felt safe in his life, he wouldn’t have behaved in this way?

    We can’t know what all has happened to this person or what led up to this.

    But we can guess that hunger, desperation, and lack of many needs being met, probably doesn’t lead to positive outcomes in general, and contributes in many cases.

    This isn’t to excuse behavior, but rather to look for causality, and ways we might help people and change the world for the better.

    Otherwise, can’t we just expect more of the same over time?

    • Wseattleite August 4, 2022 (12:31 pm)

      Conjecture and what ifs. Great tools for a philosophical think tanks, but generally useless or worse in addressing realities. I see much personal projection in your comments, but nothing that solves anything.  The causation potentials are nearly limitless, and as you point out are completely unknown, though people love to guess to further their own bias. If the perp had been given a free house earlier in life, would that have stopped his behavior here?  Maybe, maybe not. No one knows. One thing we do know is that it happened and we cannot accept this type of behavior.  I could postulate all I want about the what if’s and maybe causes of my apartment gutters needing to be cleaned, be it climate change or birds pooping in flight. It does not change the fact my gutters need cleaned and I had better hop to in cleaning them in order to avoid costly damage as a result of inaction. It is time for direct action toward these unacceptable behaviors, not postulations on the theoretical. 

      • one voice August 4, 2022 (2:41 pm)

        What this person did is absolutely not okay, and I feel for the victims, but do think it’s worth looking at what contributes to this kind of behavior and break down in society.

        Even if you don’t have empathy or compassion, it’s really quite logical to look at causality. Though it seems you would rather be reactive to issues and be angry and insulting towards those of us who want to see positive changes that help people, rather than to problem solve, because of your own biases?

        Regarding your gutter analogy, if you don’t have an understanding of how or when to care for them, you can end up with gutter issues. The same can be said for people and society.

        We can do more to care for people and the issues in society or we can continue to see people break down and cause problems.

        You simply want to blame and punish the gutter. Some of us recognize the causes that can lead to the issues and think more care towards preventing problems (and suffering), would be good.

      • one voice August 4, 2022 (4:17 pm)

        Also, don’t agree that we cannot know causalities or that there are too many possibilities to try and look at this. My point was that currently we don’t know, and would take effort to learn, and was more a point about rushing to judgements and blame.

        And, aside from maybe having a personal bias towards kindness, empathy, and compassion, I can’t personally project much regarding this situation since I am not a person of a color, have had more privilege than them, and haven’t experienced racism. Also have never thought about hurting or throwing muffins and avocados at people. Maybe you’re personally projecting onto me and my comments?

        Maybe we have some different biases and judgements, which are born from different life experiences, understandings, and how we choose to focus.

        Just wanting to contribute a voice for more good in the world and help solve problems, and that’s not a bad thing, no matter how someone else may spin it.

        There are solutions down the path from my perspective, you may not see them, but that’s or your choosing or inability to go there, not because they aren’t there.

      • one voice August 4, 2022 (5:07 pm)

        Also, don’t agree that we cannot know some causalities or that there are too many possibilities to try and look at this.

        My point was that currently we don’t know, and would take effort to learn, and was more a point about rushing to judgements and blame.

        And, aside from maybe having a personal bias towards kindness, empathy, and compassion, I can’t personally project much regarding this situation since I am not a person of a color, have had more privilege than them, and haven’t experienced racism. Also have never thought about hurting or throwing things at people. Maybe you’re personally projecting onto me and my comments?

        Maybe we have some different biases and judgements, which are born from different life experiences, understandings, and how we choose to focus.

        There are solutions down the path of my perspective, you may not see them, but that’s of your choosing or inability to go there, not because they can’t be found.

  • sarge August 4, 2022 (11:42 am)

    I really feel terrible for retail workers these days.  How are you supposed to have any good morale among staff at stores when disruptions, threats of violence, constant shoplifting are an every day occurrence? They need hazard pay just for working in Seattle where there’s no end in sight to these kinds of issues.  [And then the customer can enjoy still higher prices in turn!]   

  • WSB August 4, 2022 (1:07 pm)

    We have just received the probable-cause documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and I’ve added the narrative above, unedited except for redaction of the not-yet-charged suspect’s name and a victim’s name. For comparison per the previous discussion, the second item here is all that was available yesterday and that’s what we wrote the original report from.

  • M. Collins August 4, 2022 (2:07 pm)

    I avoid Westwood.  I have not felt safe there in a long time.. 

  • Alki resident August 4, 2022 (2:19 pm)

    This is exactly why I carry. So sick of the crime around here and the revolving jail doors. 

    • CAM August 4, 2022 (5:27 pm)

      Yep. Gun vs muffin and avocado. I see the equivalence. 

      • KinesthesiaAmnesia August 4, 2022 (6:32 pm)

        The article said that said the suspect spent 10+ seconds strangling someone? No matter how disenfranchised a person is we can’t minimize their violent actions toward strangers just trying to buy groceries.

      • Alki resident August 4, 2022 (7:04 pm)

        An innocent victim’s neck was squeezed and it now hurts to swallow, did you not read the story? 

        • one voice August 4, 2022 (7:59 pm)

          We may not all agree with how to approach and solve issues, or have the same capacities for compassion, or agree regarding carrying guns and shooting other people who may do us harm. But we can all probably at least agree what happened here is awful, and be glad the victims weren’t more seriously injured. No one has the right to attack and harm other people.

  • Auntie August 4, 2022 (7:23 pm)

    Parkman has “five active warrants and seven convictions for violating court orders.” And some of you would have me feel sorry for him? Not happening. This kind of bs cannot be tolerated, no matter the cause.

    • Moima August 5, 2022 (8:23 am)

      Hmm? You know it’s possible to be angry at the rising crime in west seattle and wanting change while simultaneously not accusing a group of violence? Does this suspect deserve to serve time? Absolutely! At the end of the day, you have to wonder how we got here. @One Voice offers a great perspective. They are saying how we can do to prevent violent incidents from happening? They are saying stay curious and empathic which is a great feat! Staying arms ready is not a substantial solution to the long term problem. When we know the why we can understand what we as a community can do to seek more lasting change. It’s not corny or idealistic– it simply takes more work

      • one voice August 5, 2022 (3:09 pm)

        Appreciate your comment @Moima, and thanks for hearing mine.

  • 1994 August 4, 2022 (7:29 pm)

    Time for  Kevin Parkman Jr. to spend a LOT of time at the big boys house, aka jail or prison. Per the above reporting:  Parkman has “five active warrants and seven convictions for violating court orders.” Time to restrict his civil liberties since he has violated those of so many others.

  • Marianne August 4, 2022 (9:08 pm)

    And tonight I watched a grown man punch a young Target employee in the head.  I was able to put my cart between them and yelled at them both to stop which did break it up.  This was also the Westwood store.

  • Big Oofs August 5, 2022 (8:17 am)

    Not the white folx saying they’re feeling uncomfortable in West Seattle now. Y’all gentrifying tf out the neighborhood and get scared when a BIPOC person simply walks past y’all. I’m not excusing any behavior nor am I condoning what this person has done. This happens everywhere, doesn’t matter where you go. Until Seattle acknowledges that the homeless population is being underserved, until we make it more accessible for folx to get help, it’s going to keep happening. Check your biases.

  • SlimJim August 5, 2022 (1:29 pm)

    Wow. All this talk of a white “privileged” class and no recognition that we set up our society for division and class hatred when we see each other as “a member of this or that group”. If I said “privileged jews” or “privileged asians” instead of “privileged whites” would we not see how wrong that is and how easily our minds slide down that slope of hatred towards individuals we’ve never even met because they’re part of that group? The term “privileged whites” has the same effect – taking the real problem of racism and class inequality and making it about tearing down those “others” around us who we know nothing about as individuals. 

    • one voice August 5, 2022 (3:55 pm)

      Understanding and accepting that ‘white privilege’ is a thing is not necessarily easy and can take some work. It can be rather painful actually, when we realize we’ve been blind to some degree to our race based advantages, and are complicit in the issues of systemic racism, and this can shake our sense of identity and world view.  So I think it’s understandable for people to be feeling uncomfortable initially with looking at this.

      The term can also be misunderstood. White privilege doesn’t mean life is simply easy for white people. A simple explanation, is that when you are born white, your skin color alone affords you more privilege in society in some ways than if you were born black or brown, due to racism, and societal inequities.

      Even though it’s uncomfortable and can feel confusing and frustrating, this is really important for white people to face and come to understand.

      Hope folks who haven’t delved into this yet will take some time and look up more info and try to come to a better understanding and acceptance of race inequities and issues in our country.

      Still have a lot of work to do to understand the issues better myself.

      • OneTimeCharley August 5, 2022 (5:01 pm)

        No offense to you personally One Voice, but you speak as if you are absolutely certain that your views are correct, and that others must embrace them in order to also be correct. I’ve read them all and I find them repulsive for exactly the reasons Slimjim above explains so beautifully. I shouldn’t have to remind you, but separate is not equal. You are separating the community while you claim to be bringing it together. Bye. 

        • Big Oofs August 5, 2022 (6:20 pm)

          Respectfully disagree. It’s easy to say “let’s all collectively not see color”; however, systematically that is impossible. All white folx hold privileges — it takes a lot of self-reflection to see that you’re not the victim. 

        • one voice August 5, 2022 (10:44 pm)

          Would be interested in hearing more of your views, if you care to share them, @OneTimeCharley.

  • one voice August 5, 2022 (7:32 pm)

    @OneTimeCharley, would you be kind to explain how you see my comments as separating the community, to help me better understand where you’re coming from?

    What I’ve voiced aren’t simply ‘my views.’  It may be a different perspective that yours, but there are many who share the views I’ve voiced.

    However, do appreciate your feedback, and I’m sad I’ve failed to communicate better to help bridge any understanding and unity on such important issues. Trying to learn and grow and improve my communication skills.

    It’s not easy to navigate such difficult conversations for any of us, especially with such strong emotions and with backlash for doing so, but my intention is good, and really not wanting to cause offense.

    In my opinion, we’re all on the same team as fellow humans and American citizens.

    Having said this, I wouldn’t speak so strongly if I hadn’t looked closely myself at these things and believe in what I’m sharing, for whatever that is worth.

    The last thing I’ll say here, is I believe that you and others might not feel as angry and opposed to these views if you chose to look at this more on your own, with an open mind to understanding. Not because some internet commenter is saying you should, but because maybe you care to try and understand where others are coming from. 

    Sharing a few video links here that are short and gently brush the subject, for anyone who may be interested in engaging further, and there’s a lot more info you can search for online, for those interested to dive deeper.

    New York Times – A conversation with white people on race (5 min)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xXow7olFyIM

    Channel 4 – moment where children learn (a little) about white privilege
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1I3wJ7pJUjg

    Mirrors of privilege: understanding white privilege (2 min) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uuXWJDyGct4

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