Man charged with hate crime after allegedly holding group at knife-point, shouting slurs

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SEATTLE (AP) — A federal hate crime charge has been filed against a 38-year-old Bremerton man accused of shouting anti-gay slurs as he threatened to stab a man in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

According to documents unsealed Wednesday, Troy Deacon Burns faces a single hate crime count, a charge that can carry up to 10 years in prison.

He was arrested by Seattle police early on Jan. 25 after a group of three men reported that he had menaced and chased them with a knife. According to documents, Burns shouted out homophobic slurs behind a group of men. When the men turned around, he raised a knife he was holding. The men ran off, but burns allegedly chased them and caught up to one of the men.

The men called police and Burns was arrested. He allegedly yelled homophobic slurs while locked in a police car.

Prosecutors initially filed a sealed complaint against Burns on July 29. It was unsealed Wednesday, and a new charge was filed by information, which typically indicates that a plea deal has been reached. Burns was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court Wednesday afternoon. Burns’ attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Seattle U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes says the federal prosecution demonstrates her office’s commitment to protecting all western Washington residents from bias-motivated attacks.