A Seattle, Washington, man authorities say has a history of targeting African-Americans faces new hate crime charges.
In the latest incident, police said Adam V. Lopez was booted from the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center after trying to spit on hospital staff and using racial slurs against a Black man in a wheelchair, local station KIRO 7 reported.
Lopez, 61, allegedly threatened to beat the man, causing him to fear for his safety, police said. That’s when another man intervened, spraying Lopez with pepper spray to protect the wheelchair-bound man from possibly being assaulted.
In court papers, prosecutors noted that Lopez has previously been arrested for malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute.
“He has a history of targeting African American people, according to documentation from the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office,” prosecutors wrote, adding that “he has previously displayed a weapon to intimidate others.”
Lopez was charged with a hate crime in 2018 after authorities said he attacked a pedestrian at random downtown. Police couldn’t locate the victim during the trial, but Lopez later pleaded guilty to a weapons charge for brandishing a knife during the assault.
The Everett man found himself back in police custody in June after he hurled racial slurs at an African-American man at a bus stop, according to police.
Lopez currently has a pending misdemeanor harassment case in Seattle after authorities said “he screamed several racial epithets” at a Metro bus driver. Prosecutors said he targeted the woman because of her race and gender.
He “threatened repeatedly to beat her severely,” court documents show.
Lopez was also previously convicted on trespassing and drug charges in 2001 and 1999, respectively.
He remains in the King County Jail on $10,000 bond.