Prosecutor’s Office: No decision yet in Harvey’s case

Victim said he thought he could become another ‘Trayvon Martin’
By Brian Soergel | Apr 04, 2018
Courtesy of: Edmonds PD This image from a surveillance camera at Harvey's shows the suspect with a baseball bat.

It could take some time before a resolution is reached in the case of a 45-year-old Lynnwood woman arrested for malicious harassment – commonly referred to as a “hate crime” – in February at Harvey’s Lounge in Edmonds.

The woman, who is not being named because no charges have been filed, posted a $10,000 bond on Feb. 14 shortly after Edmonds police transported her to Snohomish County Jail in Everett. The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office said it could be months before a decision is made to charge the woman or dismiss the case.

According to police reports recently obtained by the Beacon, it was on Feb. 5 that Edmonds police responded to the Esperance home of two African-American siblings – an 18-year-old man and his 14-year-old sister – who said they were in the parking lot and were verbally assaulted by the woman, who came out of the bar with a baseball bat, hurling racial slurs their way.

Responding Officer Jason Robinson interviewed the two teenagers at their home, who reported that they were taking pictures for a school project when a person, later identified as a male customer, came out of the bar, cellphone in hand, and told them to leave.

After leaving the property and then returning because the 18-year-old said he left his wallet on the grounds, a woman, later identified as the 45-year-old suspect, emerged from the bar holding a baseball bat. The woman, the teenage girl told police, yelled at them, “No niggers on our property.”

The male teenager told police he did not continue looking for his wallet because he felt he could be another “Trayvon Martin,” referring to a 17-year-old black male killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012.

The suspect – who first said she did not speak to the teenagers – later admitted she told the siblings to stay off the property, but denied using a racial slur. She told Detective Julie Govantes that she saw a customer arrive in a Uber and “decided to show (him) who was in charge by getting a bat and acting like she was going to beat him up.”

She told Govantes that she did not speak to anyone else but the customer, which Govantes – who also worked with the FBI on the case – said contradicted what was seen in a surveillance video, which showed the suspect clearly exiting Harvey’s with a bat in her hand, swinging it up and then down her side.

Written in black bold letters on the 31-inch bat is “For Problem Customers.”

But the bartender maintained her innocence.

“Getting threats is bad enough,” she wrote in a statement before she was arrested. “But slandering me as a person, I am hurt. Calls to bar people on Facebook (who are) threatening is out of control.”

She was referring to Darnesha Weary, the mother of the two teens, who posted her version of the event to the Edmonds Mom Facebook page, which led to stories from the Beacon and other media outlets.

The Facebook post led to at least one person entering the bar while Officer Brittany Johnsen was interviewing the suspect, saying “I’m from the Facebook group.” Johnsen ordered the woman to leave, and told the suspect and other Harvey’s employees to call police if they felt threatened by “angry Facebook followers.”

The suspect was arrested after inconsistencies in her version of events became clear, and she was seen on the business’s surveillance video wielding the bat and yelling toward the victims.

Govantes developed probable cause to believe that the victims were threatened and placed in fear because of their race while the suspect was armed with the bat.

 

 

 

 

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.