Attack on Burien mayor investigated as possible hate crime

Authorities are considering malicious harassment charges against a 62-year-old man who turned himself in after a suburban Seattle mayor reported a racially-motivated attack.


The King County Sheriff's Office said the man turned himself in to police Monday night after Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta said that an unidentified man approached him Saturday night at a block party beer garden.


The unnamed suspect, also from Burien, was arrested and released.


The sheriff's office says the man allegedly put his arm around Matta's neck and pulled him down, scratching Matta's arm on a fence and drawing blood. The man also allegedly made a disparaging remark regarding Matta's Latino heritage and immigration.


Matta says the man previously criticized his policies toward immigrants, as the city's first Latino mayor supported Burien as a sanctuary city.

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