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Man arrested for possible hate crime against Congressmember Pramila Jayapal

On Saturday night a man allegedly yelled, "Go back to India, I'm going to kill you," in front of Jayapal's home in Seattle.

SEATTLE — According to Seattle Police Department documents, a man made his first appearance in court on Monday after allegedly committing a hate crime against Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-7th District) on Saturday night.

A 48-year-old man allegedly drove past Jayapal’s West Seattle home three times, yelling obscenities, according to neighbors. 

One neighbor told police she heard the man yell “Go back to India, I’m going to kill you,” according to documents. The same neighbor said she'd seen the suspect's vehicle drive by Jayapal's house three times that night.

Jayapal called 911 at 11:25 pm and reported: "[Unknown] people are outside [my] house in their [vehicle] who have been [using] very obscene language. [My] husband thinks they may have shot a pellet gun, but unsure."

When police arrived, they said they found the man in the middle of the street with his hands in the air and a handgun holstered on his waist. Police wrote the man “knew who lived at the residence and wanted to pitch a tent on their property. [and that] the victim that he was targeting was of Indian descent.”

In a statement, Jayapal confirmed the incident occurred at her home while she was present. Because it is an ongoing investigation, Jayapal would not comment further on Monday.

King County Prosecutors asked for $500,000 bail, claiming the suspect is a "danger to the community." He is currently in the King County Jail, awaiting formal charges.

Prosecutors said there is probable cause to charge the man with a hate crime threat.

According to the prosecutor’s office, this would be the 10th filing of a hate crime in King County this year. In May, the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said it has support from leadership to fund two full-time positions that would be dedicated to the prosecution of hate crimes.

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