A former Capitol Hill resident skipped a court appearance Monday after being charged in a July gay-bashing where he allegedly asked a group if they were “faggots” then punched one on a Capitol Hill street-corner. Hernan Sarellana, 33, is charged with malicious harassment stemming from the incident that sent Doug Hamilton to the emergency room with a head wound and seizure.
Sarellana failed to appear for his arraignment Monday in King County Superior Court. A warrant was been issued for his arrest and a judge set his bail at $5,000. Under Washington law, malicious harassment is a hate crime. In addition to being a felony level offense, victims may sue their harassers for damages.
On July 10th at around 10:30 PM, the three friends — one male and two females — told police they were standing on the corner of Minor and Pike when a man approached and asked them if they were bisexual. When nobody responded, Sarellana reportedly asked if they were “faggots.”
One of the women told Sarellana he was being inappropriate. Sarellana then said he was from Los Angeles and didn’t want to hang out with people who were bisexual, according to the police report. When no one responded, Sarellana reportedly punched the male victim with two fists simultaneously, one in the chest and one in the mouth. The punch cut the man’s lip and knocked him on the ground, resulting in a cut to his head and a seizure. He was later treated at the Harborview emergency room.
One of the women snapped a photo of Sarellana on her phone before he fled the scene. An employee at the nearby Wintonia apartments told police he recognized the man as a former resident. The Wintonia is a King County-owned property for people coming out of a county rehab program.
Sarellana’s last known address, according to court documents, was at a homeless shelter in Pioneer Square. He’s had several previous run-ins police, including several theft convictions since 2011.
Just two weeks after Hamilton was attacked, another person reported being victim of a gay-bashing on Capitol Hill. Earlier this month, 30-year-old former Capitol Hill resident Musab Musmari plead not guilty to arson charges following his arrest for the New Year’s fire attack on gay nightclub Neighbours. No hate crime charges have been filed in the case.