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Man attacks 75-year-old nonprofit co-founder in downtown Seattle hate crime

Seattle police are asking the public's help in identifying a suspect.

SEATTLE — Detectives are searching for a suspect involved in a hate crime that occurred in downtown Seattle last week.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) said a man in a dark-colored hatchback vehicle was seen driving recklessly downtown on Nov. 18.

He then reportedly stopped at 1st Avenue and Columbia Street and yelled racist slurs and insults at a 75-year-old woman, identified as Reverend Harriett Walden who is also the co-founder of the nonprofit Mothers for Police Accountability

 “I was just crossing the street, and he had a problem with melanin,” she said

The man then threw a container of motor oil at her, striking her in the back.

“I’m blessed. You know why I’m blessed is because the only weapon he had in his car was the motor oil. We know so many times, people have guns. So, I’m here today, no obituary needed," Walden said.

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Detectives are following leads in the case, but they are hoping someone has more information about the suspect and the vehicle he was driving.

Officers believe the vehicle may have been lowered.

Walden explained the day after the attack in a tweet that she was "grateful that the person who assaulted me yesterday did not have gun." 

Thanking those who reached out to her after the incident, Walden wrote, "Life is good, there are many good people in this world."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call SPD’s Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000.

Data available on SPD’s Bias Crime Dashboard for 2021 currently only shows the number of bias crimes in Seattle for January through March. However, each month saw a significant increase compared to the same time period last year, which saw the largest number of hate crimes by far compared to the previous eight years.

As for the King County Prosecutor's Office, there have been 31 hate crime cases filed in King County Superior Court this year through October. Last year, there were 49 cases filed.