Seattle, Washington — A 38-year-old man has been charged with a federal hate crime after shouting derogatory homosexual slurs at three men and attempting to stab a man with a knife in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
According to news reports, the suspect, Troy Deacon Burns, is now facing a hate crime charge for his actions, which could result in up to 10 years of imprisonment.
The charges are in relation to an incident dating back to January, 25, when Burns was arrested by Seattle police after three men accused him of a violent crime. The men allege that Burns was shouting homophobic slurs at them, while at the same time, chasing after them with a knife.
At first, the men did not realize that their lives were in peril, but once they turned around after hearing the derogatory slurs, they saw Burns looking directly at them. He continued to make homophobic slurs while holding a knife, and allegedly went after the men.
At this point, the men ran off in separate directions, but Burns was able to catch up to one of them. Once he caught up to the man, prosecutors claim he allegedly threatened to stab him in the back of his neck.
While this was happening, the men were able to call local police, who arrested Burns. Yet, even after authorities were in the process of taking him to jail, Burns continued to yell slanderous homophobic term within the police car.
When police arrived on scene, Burns reportedly hid his knife in his pocket and made an attempt to walk toward the officers, declaring he had not done anything wrong.
It is not clear whether any of the men suffered injuries as a result of the incident, but what we do know is that shortly following the crime, prosecutors filed a sealed complaint against Burns on July 29. However, the complaint was unsealed this week on Wednesday, August 5, and Burns is now facing additional charges in relation to the hate crime.
Not much else has been revealed as far as the allegations against Burns or whether the victims will be seeking compensation. Yet, it seems as though a plea deal has been reached.
That being said, it would be in Burns’ best interest to hire a Washington criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Hate crimes are not taken lightly in Seattle (or the state of Washington in general), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has already issued a statement explaining that any crime against Seattle’s LGBT community will not be tolerated.
Now, Burns awaits his time in federal court. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison.