Edmonds police arrest Harvey’s employee for hate crime in connection with incident involving teens

A 45-year-old female employee of Harvey’s Lounge was arrested on charges of malicious harassment Wednesday in connection with racially motivated threats involving two African American teenagers that occurred Feb. 4 outside of Harvey’s Lounge, located in the 21100 block of Highway 99.

Malicious harassment is commonly known as the “Hate Crime” law for Washington state. The Lynnwood woman was arrested at Harvey’s around 5 p.m., interviewed by police and then transported to Snohomish County Jail, Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Josh McClure said.

An 18-year-old Edmonds man and his 14-year-old sister said they were outside the lounge working on a school photography project the evening of Feb. 4 when the woman came out of the Harvey’s carrying a baseball bat and threatening them with a racial slur.

According to McClure, Detective Julie Govantes led the investigation into this incident which was first reported to police on Feb. 5.

The investigation included the reviewing of surveillance footage, multiple interviews and consultation with the FBI. The suspect was arrested “after inconsistencies in her version of events came to light and she was seen on the business’s surveillance video wielding a bat and yelling towards the victims,” McClure said.

The 18-year old victim told detectives “he felt that he was about to be violently assaulted when the female employee came out of the business with the bat and yelled at him and his sister to leave the property while being called a derogatory racial slur,” McClure said.

“After a thorough investigation, Detective 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 a bat,” McClure added.

“We recognize the emotion that these types of incidents can create and will do our part to hold any perpetrator accountable if we establish that a crime has been committed,” said Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan. “We appreciate the ongoing support of the community in the interest of public safety.”

McClure said that police took their time to develop the case so they had probable cause to make an arrest, and he credited the efforts of Govantes. “She’s been working non-stop on this case and it’s been her only case since it was reported,” McClure said.

Edmonds police urge the public to always report matters such as this so that they can be investigated, McClure added.

  1. Thank you Edmonds PD! You have done us proud. This is not only the right outcome, it sends a clear message that these sort of actions are not going to be tolerated here.

  2. Edmonds Police: As always – professional and thorough!
    Word of this incident has spread and the racist behavior & actions taken by this ignorant adult individual against two teens of color is truly disheartening. Our heart goes out to the siblings. Please don’t allow this person’s bad actions define your view of others! We, as a nation, should be way above and beyond this! We’re glad this person is being held accountable for her crime. Well done EPD!

  3. And what does Alex Munday (owner of Harvey’s Lounge) have to say now??? I’m so proud of our diligent police force. And disgusted that she was still working there.

  4. For myself, I too am waiting for Mr. Munday, the owner, to say something. I’m also concerned that many on social media are painting all Harvey’s patrons as racist. Some may be, but guilt by association like that is unfair as well as unwise.

  5. So glad that something was actually done. That the hateful person with the bat has been charged with the crime and is being dealt with. Racist behavior is not ok. When I first read this all I could think of was how thankful I was that the kids got home safe and that thier friends and family still had them in their lives. The incident was very bad but it could have been so much worse. I hope the person who went to jail is in there a long time.

    Love and prayers for the kids, thier family, and friends.

    Patty

  6. “An 18-year-old Edmonds man and his 14-year-old sister said they were outside the lounge working on a school photography project the evening of Feb. 4” (Sunday Evening)

    Why???

    Still kind of strange…

    1. That part of the story I understand. They were taking pictures using the neon light from the sign. They were asked to leave and I imagine everyone was rude. Then they returned for some contrived reason when more arguments occurred. It’s not illegal to be rude. No one chased anyone with a bat like what was reported. The whole thing seems exagerated. However, menacing, making threats is a misdemeanor and either this lady incriminated herself or a third party witness did. Very not smart. Very not civil. But likely not racist either.

      1. I have to ask if you read the whole article or just the words you understood. There was evidence warranting the charges. We cannot tolerate white supremacy in Edmonds. It is time for you to open your mind.

        1. I believe equality already exists. I think it’s possible for someone black to trespass, be asked to leave, maybe get sassy, to return to the property, then for someone white to menace them, all without anybody being racist. White supremacy? Do you suffer from invoke-nazi-itis? This is a story of people getting into an argument in the parking lot of a self-professed dive bar, not some pivotal Civil Rights dilemma like Japanese internment. We all want to matter, that’s why people put -very- exaggerated versions of what really happened on social media. If my kids were really threatened by wanton racists who “chased” them with bats for no reason, I’d never let KIRO do a whole profile on them, show their names, pictures, tell people where they go to school. It defies all modern journalistic standards to even report it the way some sources have. All that said, menacing is a crime, and thank goodness the PD did what they had to do given evidence. I hope you read my whole comment, because it’s nuanced, and not “just the words you understood.” I am woke on this. 🙂

      2. 1) That you “imagine everyone was rude” is not evidence, or fact, or even a good argument.
        2) You imagine “everyone” was rude? Based on what evidence?
        3) The article and the police state clearly that there was a bat; whether they were chased or not is beside the point.
        4) What about thee police report seems “exaggerated”?
        5) “Likely not racist” is again not fact, but supposition. The article clearly states, “After a thorough investigation, Detective 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 a bat.”

        1. Very good points Nathaniel. The EPD said everyone was a heated argument.
          Those are often rude and it’s reasonable to assume that people were rude.

          “[…] probable cause to believe that the victims were threatened and placed in fear” For race to be a factor, then the woman would of had to say it. Usually there would need to be some demonstrable pattern of behavior and maybe even admission of guilt for anything like “hate crime” to actually stick. “Hate” is really difficult to prove, even in cases where it is true:

          https://www.propublica.org/article/hate-crime-law-results-in-few-convictions-and-lots-of-disappointment

          It’s also got little to do with how the alleged victim felt, but how the perpetrator of the alleged crime felt – their state of mind. Guessing that her state of mind is racist, especially ahead of a trial or her chance to defend herself, is the definition of “supposition”, to use your word. Civil societies always defer to Sir William Garrow.

          So far the only evidence we have is that she had a bat, didn’t chase them, and put it down after she realized she was heated. That contradicts the initial reports. However, that is menacing, which is an arrest-able offense.

    2. What is strange about their reason? The article states that ‘An 18-year-old Edmonds man and his 14-year-old sister said they were outside the lounge working on a school photography project the evening of Feb. 4 when the woman came out of the Harvey’s carrying a baseball bat and threatening them with a racial slur’.
      The article plainly states that they were working on a school photography project. Seems very innocent to me. By you wondering why there were there, tells me that you agree with the racist employee of Harvey’s. Shame on you!

    3. My daughter knows this family…working on a school photography project is not strange….strange is you not commenting on how terrifying it would be if it were you and your little sister being threatened with a bat.

  7. Matthew usually think these and other issue through with a critical eye on the factual details. Something happened bad enough for EPD to make an arrest. Now the provable facts will be sorted out at trial or through the legal process. I would not want to put labels on folks until we see the legal system sort out the details. Guessing on what really happen is just that … guessing.

  8. The EPD said she had a bat, didn’t chase them, which directly contradicts the complaint. They said her body language suggests she was menacing. That is probable cause for arrest. Probable Cause does not mean Guilt. The contradiction does question the veracity of the rest of the complaint. You guys are supposing that this woman is both guilty and not an equal opportunity menacer. That’s “supposition” x2 (thanks for the word Nathaniel). This is a court of public opinion trial. Even if I thought Edmonds was a racist town, which is ridiculous, or belived that this woman is guilty of menacing, which is possible, someone should be a devil’s advocate. Hillary Clinton rightfully and unapologetically defended rapists against allegations, both professionally as an attorney and personally as a wife. #DueProcess If the alleged is guilty, I can walk away from this not being wrong about anything because I’m giving the benefit of the doubt without having the facts. If the videos and evidence show that all parties made mistakes, or that no one was racist, then there will be a lot of sad pitch forks on facebook.

    1. Agreed. It was all very unnecessary and uncomfortable to start with. The latest articles from the Seattle Times was very measured, didnt mention names, used terms like “alleged”. Some papers even went back and adjusted the language. A minority of people had the unpopular duty of asking the media and revelers to put the pitchforks down, to not believe the complaint wholesale, until due process. Mission Accomplished. Thumbs down this comment if anyone actually hopes that the racial component of the alleged crime is true.

      1. I agree, let’s see where the case goes with the court. The only part I would add is that I trust the EPD would not have announced that the arrest was based on the state hate crime statue, if they didn’t have some good evidence for that from some source. So I guess I’m saying that based on that, I believe the EPD found evidence that the racial component was present.

  9. Thank you Edmonds Police Department and FBI for the investigation of this hate crime and acting. Hate crimes should not be tolerated anywhere in our country. We have a Constitution and Law & Justice in the United States of America and that’s what keeps us civilized……………and “We the people” means ALL the people. ………………..and there is a reason we are a “beacon of light to the world” Thank you again Edmonds Police Department for your work for us, all of us!….We ALL share this small planet together and we all stand tall TOGETHER! That’s what we do

  10. One more item after reading some comments…..education, education, education……..We move forward in the United States of America, not backwards! education, education, education……..

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