A 45-year-old Lynnwood woman employed at Harvey’s Lounge was arrested on charges of malicious harassment Wednesday in connection with racially motivated threats involving two African American teenagers that occurred Feb. 4 outside of the lounge, located in the 21100 block of Highway 99.
Malicious harassment is commonly known as the “Hate Crime” law for Washington state. The woman was arrested at Harvey’s around 5 p.m., interviewed by police and then transported to Snohomish County Jail, Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Josh McClure said.
An 18-year-old Edmonds man and his 14-year-old sister said they were outside the lounge working on a school photography project the evening of Feb. 4 when the woman came out of the Harvey’s carrying a baseball bat and threatening them with a racial slur.
According to McClure, Detective Julie Govantes led the investigation into this incident, which was first reported to police on Feb. 5.
The investigation included the reviewing of surveillance footage, multiple interviews and consultation with the FBI. The suspect was arrested “after inconsistencies in her version of events came to light and she was seen on the business’s surveillance video wielding a bat and yelling towards the victims,” McClure said.
The 18-year old victim “told detectives he felt that he was about to be violently assaulted when the female employee came out of the business with the bat and yelled at him and his sister to leave the property while being called a derogatory racial slur, McClure said.
“After a thorough investigation, Detective Govantes developed probable cause to believe that the victims were threatened and placed in fear because of their race while the suspect was armed with a bat,” McClure added.
“We recognize the emotion that these types of incidents can create and will do our part to hold any perpetrator accountable if we establish that a crime has been committed,” said Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan. “We appreciate the ongoing support of the community in the interest of public safety.”
McClure said that police took their time to develop the case so they had probable cause to make an arrest, and he credited the efforts of Govantes. “She’s been working non-stop on this case and it’s been her only case since it was reported,” McClure said.
Edmonds police urge the public to always report matters such as this so that they can be investigated, McClure added.