Monday night update: The suspect may have been spotted on Market St., and police have responded. Updates here.
Update: An hour after we posted this story, Seattle Police confirmed the photo posted in the My Ballard Facebook group is a “person of interest” in at least one of the bias incidents. We’re now posting the image unblurred, as provided by Seattle Police.
Earlier: Seattle Police say they’re investigating at least three separate incidents of anti-Asian harassment in Ballard – two at Golden Gardens and another at a restaurant on Market St. In one case, police said the suspect spit on a victim.
In the first Golden Gardens case yesterday, police say the suspect approached a woman while she was driving out of the parking lot.
“Where are you from? Where is your ID?” the suspect said, according to police. “Chinese disease… they bring it here!”
The suspect then chased her car as she left, the victim told police.
A few hours later at Golden Gardens, the suspect approached a couple walking back to their car, demanded to know where they’re from and spit in the man’s face, police said.
“This guy came to our restaurant yesterday and today yelling and cussing at our staff and telling us to go back to China (but we are a Thai restaurant),” the post said, explaining it was a message from the restaurant staff. “Today he came in to kicked our hostess sign and threw a door stop to one of our staff. We are afraid that he will do more harm to us in the future.”
Police say the suspect in all three incidents has a similar description: “white male, in his thirties, approximately 5’10 tall, muscular build, with dark hair.” That description is similar to a photo posted in the My Ballard Facebook group about the Thai Thani Kitchen incident. We’ve blurred the photo on MyBallard.com because police have not confirmed the man in the photo is the suspect – or if all three incidents are the work of the same suspect.
Seattle Police is asking anyone who has additional information about any incidents or the suspect to call the police tip line at 206-233-5000.