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Five arrested in Pike/Pine street beating charged with hate crime

(Image: Oleg Zharsky with permission to CHS)

(Image: Oleg Zharsky with permission to CHS)

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has decided to charge the five men arrested in last Wednesday night’s violent street beating at 10th and Pike with a hate crime.

Justin Echols, 22, Trey Amberson, 22, Aaron Nelson, 21, William Berger, 21, and Zachary Kocikhill, 21, face charges of malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute.

The five will be arraigned next week. Satterberg’s office requested that each be held on $10,000 bail.8941496012_b694e16afa_b

Police say the five violently beat a 20-year-old black male with their fists and a skateboard while shouting “nigger” and “faggot” in the May 29th incident. According to the police report on the beating, the victim said he did not know the five men and did not know why he had been targeted but said he had punched a female previous to the fight after she had called him a “snitch.” The “snitch” incident is not mentioned in the prosecutor’s charging document.

Police say they were called to the scene at 10th and Pike just before 10 PM after a caller reported a group harassing people in the area had violently turned on a black male and were beating him. Police arrived to find five males on E Pike matching the group’s description. As they spoke to the suspects, the victim showed up, still bleeding, and told police he had been beaten by the males.

In requesting $10,000 bail for the suspects, prosecutors emphasized that each of the five has “no local ties.” Amberson told police he arrived last week in Seattle for Folklife from California and has warrants in Idaho and Alabama. Berger was busted earlier this year for trespass in Florida. Echols also has a criminal record in Florida.

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14 thoughts on “Five arrested in Pike/Pine street beating charged with hate crime

  1. I find it odd that none of these punks were from Seattle. I saw this in the Seattle times:

    • Trey Amberson, 22, of Trustville, Ala.; and Echols; both being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.

    • Aaron Nelson, 21, of Gaston, Ore. His bail was set at $15,000 at his first court appearance Thursday, but Nelson is being held without bail for failing to appear in a Walla Walla court on a fourth-degree assault charge, jail records show.

    • William Berger, 21, of Davie, Fla.; and Zachary Kocikhill, 21, of La Mesa, Calif.; are each being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

  2. I’m so sick of all the violence happening on the hill and specifically my neighborhood right now.
    The sun seems to invite assholes to Seattle. And I’m talking about all involved….anyone who punches someone in the face for calling them a “snitch” is also worthy of the asshole title.

    • Unfortunately, among certain sections of society, calling someone a “snitch” is a huge insult. It means that they are willing to talk to the police and tell them what they know about a crime. Of course, this “snitch attitude” is counterproductive to effective crime-fighting and in bringing criminals to arrest and prosecution. It’s got to change.

  3. first off a big thanks to SPD – they have been swift & decisive with emergency calls.

    these “dudes” are exactly the folks that prompted many of us to sound the alarm about conditions in the park & vicinity.

    people with warrants do NOT want to be in a well patrolled area & the fact that these guys hung around after the beating is a sign that they still felt too damn comfortable in pike/pine. clearly, they did not fear much 2 blocks from a major police station & with hundreds of folks on the streets.

    i hope the prosecutors are hard on these guys to send a message that our neighborhood is not a campground & a magnet for criminals on the traveling circuit.

  4. also

    camping at the park is clearly DOWN and this is good news. i am sorry that the occasional bed roll guy has also been moved along because of the larger groups.

    looking forward to a dreamboat summer with all our neighbors & visitors – hippies, squares, rockers, ballers, bathers, dogs, kids, musicians…. let’s all work together with the police & rangers to create a safe & relaxing space.

  5. Now do the right thing and throw the book at them and make a statement! NOT OK!!! poor little jack asses that have to group together to beat on man…pathetic…come pick on me!!!

  6. Thank you everyone who commented! I am so tired of the “oh their just poor kids” and “police brutality!”. Crime on the hill is out of hand, and when we actually allow the police to do THEIR JOB, they can clean up the streets without worrying about a FBI investigation every time they look at someone funny.

    CapHill is quickly becoming the new hip place (good or bad is your prerogative) and I would hate for all the progress to stop due to some newspaper write ups on how it has more crime per sq ft than NYC!

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