Man Charged With Hate Crime For Punching Sikh Store Clerk

A Washington man was charged with a hate crime today for assaulting a 7-11 clerk wearing a turban last week. His words to the convenience store employee? "You're not even American, you're Al-Qaeda. Go back to your country."

A 35-year-old Seattle man has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly punching a 7-11 clerk in the head. Police say Brock Stainbrook walked into the 7-11 just after midnight Aug. 24, approached a clerk wearing a turban, threw change on the floor and then punched the clerk in the side of the head.

"You're not even American, you're Al-Qaeda. Go back to your country," he then said, according to police.

Another clerk then forced the man, kicking and screaming, to leave the store. Police picked him up a few blocks away after witnesses described a man in a white shirt, black pants and carrying one shoe.

According to a police affidavit, Stainbrook admitted "that he struck a person on his turban because he was a prick."

The Post-Intelligencer notes that the victim's last name "is common within the Sikh community." (Sikhs are, notably, not Muslim.)

Stainbrook was charged Thursday with malicious harassment, Washington State's term for a hate crime, as well as fourth-degree assault. He is being held in King County jail on $150,000 bond. Malicious harassment is a felony and carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

According to court records, Stainbrook has two prior convictions in Hawaii for making "terrorist threats" in 2002 and 2004. He also has prior convictions for fourth-degree assault and criminal trespassing in Washington and public intoxication and drunken driving in Indiana.

His last known address is that of a Seattle homeless shelter.


Man Charged With Hate Crime For Punching Sikh Store ClerkRepublished with permission from TalkingPointsMemo.com. Authored by Rachel Slajda. Photo via AP. TPM provides breaking news, investigating reporting and smart analysis of politics.