Suspects in Quarter Deck tavern hate crime appear in court

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: May 17, 2013, 5:53 PM

 

Three local men appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court related to an alleged March 18 hate crime at Vancouver’s QuarterDeck Bar.

Robert A. Luyster, 31, and his brother, Brent W. Luyster, 32, both of Vancouver, face charges of second-degree assault, harassment and racially motivated malicious harassment at their arraignment on Wednesday. Donald H. McElfish, 62, of Woodland, faces charges of harassment and racially motivated malicious harassment. The brothers were held on $75,000 bail. McElfish’s bail is $10,000.

Brent Luyster is accused of threatening to kill an interracial couple cuddling at the bar in the tavern at 4300 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. and later threatening another black man while pointing a pistol at him.

The suspect allegedly approached the bar and said, “Look at this white girl over here with a stupid (racial slur); that’s gross,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Robert Luyster allegedly threatened to shoot the couple and ran to McElfish’s vehicle to fetch a pistol. He then loaded it with a round of ammunition, the affidavit says. When he got out of the vehicle, he allegedly pointed the pistol at a group of people standing outside the bar and threatened to kill them as he drew closer. He singled out a black man in the group and threatened to fight him and shoot him, according to court documents. Then, Robert Luyster allegedly handed the pistol to his brother. Brent Luyster allegedly threatened to kill the black man and others.

When the brothers learned police were on the way, they fled, along with McElfish, in McElfish’s vehicle, court documents say.

Court records indicate that the two brothers are associated with skinhead groups and hold racist beliefs.