King County prosecutors claim Chikwanha E. Nyashanu pointed a pistol at a passerby near the Green Lake Community Center and demanded the other man "apologize for all the things white people did to black people." Prosecutors say Nyashanu, 35, may have pointed a pistol at several others in the park before the race-based assault.
According to charging papers, the other man was walking near the east Green Lake center at 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 11 when Nyashanu approached him and pointed a pistol at him.
Nyashanu then demanded that the man apologize for "all the things white people did to black people," a Seattle detective told the court.
Speaking with police, the man said Nyashanu pointed the gun at his stomach for 15 to 20 seconds, according to charging papers. The man said he offered Nyashanu his wallet, which Nyashanu refused while demanding the apology. According to charging papers, Nyashanu walked away after the man apologized profusely.
The man told police he was "scared out of his mind," the detective continued, but believed Nyashanu approached him at random.
"He thought the suspect picked him out only because he was there and that if someone else was there he would have done the same to them," the detective said in court papers. The man said he did not believe the attack was racially motivated.
Police arrested Nyashanu after shocking him with a stun gun. According to charging papers, a pistol fell from his clothing as he was stunned by police; the alleged victim subsequently identified Nyashanu as his assailant.
The detective noted a loaded pistol was recovered from the scene. A search of Nyashanu's backpack uncovered more ammunition.
Jailed on $500,000 bail, Nyashanu has been charged with second-degree assault as well as malicious harassment, Washington's hate crime law. Prosecutors contend Nyashanu targeted the man because of his race.