SEATTLE (KOMO) — A man accused of vandalizing the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle's Chinatown-International District last week has been charged with a hate crime.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office (KCPAO) rush filed two felony charges against 76-year-old Craig Milne. He has been charged with a hate crime and malicious mischief in connection to the attack on the museum.
A 911 caller reported a man, later identified as Milne, was yelling racial slurs as he smashed the museum's windows with a sledgehammer on the evening of Sept. 14. An alert posted on the Wing Luke Museum's website said they experienced a "racially-motivated" incident.
"In the last five years, King County has charged 294 cases as a hate crime," Casey McNerthney with the KCPAO said. "Most commonly it is people being targeted because of their race."
Court documents released Monday by the KCPAO show Milne said, "Chinese have ruined my life," as he allegedly smashed the museum's windows.
Milne continued making “racially biased statements” when officers arrived and expressed no remorse, court documents state.
“The Chinese have tortured and tormented me for 14 years,” Milne said. “I don’t regret anything I did here.”
Charging documents note that Milne was arrested in 2013 in Shoreline for allegedly attacking an Asian man.
In March 2014, after multiple prosecutors reviewed the case referral, King County prosecutors asked the lead King County Sheriff’s Office detective to refer the case to the Shoreline City Attorney’s Office for a possible fourth-degree assault charge based on the available evidence.
Under the Malicious Harassment statute at the time – an earlier version of the state’s hate crime law – felony prosecutors did not believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Under state law, a fourth-degree assault charge was under the jurisdiction of the city of Shoreline.
The documents state he was arrested by a King County Sheriff's Office deputy after attacking the man and repeatedly punching him in the locker room at the Spartan Recreation Center.
"He wanted to make a statement and this is the response, you don't get to do that without having consequences," Joël Barraquiel Tan, the museum's executive director said regarding this most recent incident. "We are just overwhelmed so we wanted to take a moment for our team to reflect."
Police arrested Milne in connection to the damage and for a hate crime offense based on his anti-Asian statements. The damage to the museum is estimated at over $100,000.
Milne's bail has been set at $30,000 and he remains in the King County jail awaiting his next court appearance.