SEATTLE – A Seattle man was charged Monday with a hate crime after police say he attacked two Korean tourists on Christmas because of their race, nationality and ancestry.
According to court documents, 30-year-old Aaron Charles Rowe followed a group of Korean men visiting Seattle and attacked two of them near the AMC movie theatre at Pacific Place.Patrick Quinn | Hate crime attack
The group told police they hid inside the theater until it closed, but were followed by Rowe when they walked out.
The Korean tourists told police Rowe punched one of them in the back and hit another one in the face. In court documents, they say he yelled, “I hate Chinese,” and “F***ing Chinese” and “Coward” at the group.
The four men were visiting Seattle from California, Missouri and Korea.
Rowe was arrested later that night after stealing two umbrellas from the valet station at the Hyatt Regency and trying to smash a hotel window.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, this was Rowe’s third booking into the King County Jail this month.
“Visitors to Seattle deserve to feel safe in the heart of our city,” said a spokesperson for the Downtown Seattle Association. “With a string of recent arrests, it’s clear this individual isn’t getting the help he needs. We need to fix a system that is failing both the community and the repeat offender.”
Rowe has had 16 warrants for his arrest since 2016. He was convicted of felony assault in 2004 and 2016. He has nine gross misdemeanor convictions.
When arrested, Rowe told police his address was at a nearby homeless shelter.
His next court appearance is January 13. Bond was set at $15,000.