A Man Who Allegedly Groped And Punched A Lesbian Couple At A Seattle Seahawks Game Has Been Charged With A Hate Crime
A man has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly groped, punched, and verbally harassed a married lesbian couple at a Seattle Seahawks home game.
According to court documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, the suspect, Jay Dee Harp III, “spent the majority of the Seahawks v. Cardinals game harassing and making crude, vulgar comments” to the couple sitting nearby on Dec. 30.
Harp, a 34-year-old from Tacoma, got up to get beer many times during the football game, each time passing the seats of the two women and one of their mothers and allegedly stepping on their feet every time, prosecutors allege.
Harp allegedly made hateful comments when he passed them as well, calling the women “fucking dyke” and repeatedly telling them to “suck my dick,” the court documents state.
He also allegedly asked them if they “need a man in your life” and if they “want some dick” while motioning towards his mid-section and thrusting his hands.
During the game’s third quarter, prosecutors say Harp unzipped one of the women’s jackets and grabbed her breast “and was not letting go.” When she tried to push him off, he allegedly threw beer in her face.
At that point, other fans stepped in and brought Harp to the ground. But he was able to get up and allegedly punched the face of the woman’s wife who had told him to back off.
The punch caused a small laceration to the bridge of her nose, her nose to bleed, and chipped a large portion of one of her front upper teeth, court documents state.
The alleged assault was captured in a video that was posted on YouTube.
A state trooper at the game tried to intervene, but called in several more officers when Harp resisted arrest. At one point, Harp allegedly looked at one of the troopers “in a rage [and] told him that they better let him go.” He also allegedly punched one of them.
Harp, who appeared “highly intoxicated,” was then tased, handcuffed, and brought into custody, according to prosecutors.
Harp has been charged with assault, as well as malicious harassment, which is more commonly known as a hate crime.
He initially posted bail of $25,000 and was released, but prosecutors upped that amount to $100,000 because it “more appropriately takes into account the violent nature of the defendant’s attack.”
“While the defendant has no known criminal history, the defendant’s willingness to sexually assault a female — a complete stranger — in a crowded sports stadium and then violently punch another female victim in the face demonstrates that he is a clear danger to the community,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rhyan C Anderson wrote in the court filing.
There is currently a warrant out for Harp’s arrest, a spokesperson for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office told BuzzFeed News. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 16. He also does not currently have an attorney assigned to his case, the spokesperson said.
In a statement in the court filing, one of the women said she believed homophobia may have motivated the attack.
“I have been an active member of the LGBT community for decades and fought for marriage equality as an adult,” the woman said. “The man’s chronic and repeated comments about our sexuality, based on my experience, suggest my sexual orientation may have motivated today’s assault.”