Hate-crime charges in Seattle convenience store attack

King County prosecutors have filed felony hate-crime charges against a Seattle man accused of beating a convenience store clerk while shouting anti-Muslim epithets. Edward Hugh Campbell, who, according to investigators, claimed to be a member of a non-governmental, terrorist-fighting “volunteer army,” faces a single count of malicious harassment for the July 3 assault at a Fremont convenience store.

Court documents say that Campbell, 46, entered the store and began yelling anti-Muslim and anti-Arab slurs at the store clerk. Campbell, who was noticeably intoxicated, then smashed a beer can against the clerk’s face, causing severe cuts around the victim’s left eye.

During the altercation, a customer called 911 as another customer restrained Campbell in the store, in the 400 block of North 36th Street. The clerk was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

Responding officers took a statement from Campbell, who claimed the clerk “was a Bin Laden sympathizer” who “did not respect (Campbell’s) military uniform.” That uniform, according to police reports, included head-to-toe green camouflage, which Campbell was wearing at the time of his arrest. Campbell is not thought to be an active member of any armed service.

Seattle Post Intelligencer, 29 July 2008