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.”