Possible hate crime at Bellevue College under investigation

A potential hate crime on the campus of Bellevue College is being investigated by the Bellevue Police Department.

On March 8, a black male pulled into the parking lot near the Eastern Washington University Extension on the northeast portion of the campus when the suspect, a white male, yelled something.

The victim couldn’t hear him, and so went about his business, exiting his vehicle, according to the police report. The suspect came close and allegedly shouted, “You guys are the problem,” and other insults and slurs the victim claimed were race and ethnicity-related.

The suspect tried to punch the victim several times, swinging but not connecting, the report continues. The victim put his hands up to defend himself and the suspect abruptly walked away. When police were contacted by Bellevue College security staff, it was 30 minutes after the incident. The suspect remains at-large.

He is described as a white male in his 30s, around 5-foot 8-inches tall, with a medium build, around 160 to 170 pounds with brown eyes.

Bellevue police are treating the incident as a malicious harassment but have not called the incident a hate crime or a “bias-related crime” yet. The victim has claimed it was a bias-related crime.

Bellevue College said it could not comment on an ongoing investigation. Bellevue Police Department detectives had taken on the case.

If the crime is bias-related, it would be the latest in a rash of such crimes across the Puget Sound region, including an assault in Seattle and attempted murder in Kent.

The department is urging anyone who knows anything about the incident to call with information.