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Person of interest sought in Ballard attacks that may be race related, police say

Police released this picture of a man believed to have been involved in three attacks on Asian people in Ballard.{p}{/p}
Police released this picture of a man believed to have been involved in three attacks on Asian people in Ballard.

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SEATTLE - Police have released a photo of a man who is suspected of targeting Asian victims during a recent series of attacks in Seattle's Ballard area.

Authorities said the unidentified man is believed to be in his 30s with dark hair and a muscular build.

The attacks all occurred on Saturday and the victims told police they believed they were targeted because of their ethnicity.

In the first incident, at about 6:30 p.m., officers responded to Golden Gardens Park for a report of a man in the park yelling at Asian park visitors and chasing a woman as she was trying to drive away in her car.

The victim was leaving the parking lot and was stopped for traffic. The suspect approached the victim’s driver’s side window on foot, knocked on her window and asked, "Where are you from ... where is your ID?" The suspect began taking photos of her car and said, “Chinese disease they bring it here!”

The victim told police she believed she was being targeted for her ethnicity and drove away. The suspect attempted to chase her car, and the victim called 911 when she was at a safe location, police said.

The second incident, about 15 minutes later, was believed to have involved the same suspect, also at Golden Gardens.

A man and woman told police they were at the park and walking to their car when the suspect ran up to them in an aggressive manner, yelling.

The suspect came within a few inches of the male victim’s face, then spit into his face and struck his cheek, police said. The suspect continued to yell at the victim, “Where are you from?”

The couple got into their car while the suspect continued to yell at them. The couple was able to leave the area and call police later.

The victims stated that they believe they were targeted because of their race.

Later, at about 8:30 p.m., officers responded to yet another bias incident, this time at a Thai restaurant in the 2000 block of NW Market Street.

Employees there told officers that about three hours earlier, a man yelled racially biased remarks based on the employees' Asian heritage.

The victims said the suspect approached their business and started knocking on the windows. He then came inside the store, kicked over a sign and threatened to throw a table at the victim. The suspect then picked up the wooden door stop and threw it, according to police.

The victim said that the same suspect came to the restaurant the day prior around the same time. During that incident the suspect yelled and caused a disturbance on the street.

The suspect in all three incidents is described as a white male in his 30s standing about 5-feet-10-inches tall, with a muscular build and dark hair.

Police are actively investigating the incidents. Anyone with additional information is urged to call the Seattle police tip line at 206-233-5000.

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Anyone who feels they have been victimized is encouraged to call 911.

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