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Oct. 7, 2022

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Seattle man charged with hate crime after threatening Northgate mosque

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The King County prosecutor has filed a hate-crime charge against Robert Kinder Farris, the Seattle man accused of threatening the Idris Mosque near Northgate earlier this week.

Farris, 37, was charged with one count of malicious harassment, Washington state’s hate-crime statute, and will be arraigned June 30. The felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.

He was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his Greenwood apartment after a brief standoff with police and remains in jail on $2 million bail.

According to charging documents, Farris began posting threatening comments about Muslims on his Facebook account Sunday and continued doing so until his arrest. One of his posts included a photo of the Idris Mosque in North Seattle from Google Street View with the comment, “Idriss 1/8 sic3/8 Mosque in Seattle, too many targets to count.” He also vowed to “take revenge” against Muslims, an apparent reference to the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.

It’s unclear if Farris was armed when arrested.

Farris does not appear to have previous criminal convictions, but he has been investigated by police before. In 2015, he allegedly called a mosque in Redmond and said he would kill the person who answered the phone. The year before, he was accused of threatening to kill a former employer in Tukwila.

In this week’s incident, police received a call from someone who had observed Farris’ online statements. His sister also called police, saying he had an AK-47 and “wants to be shot by police,” the charging documents state.

Farris came out of his apartment about 3 p.m. Tuesday and was taken into custody. Police say he was intoxicated and confirmed he had written the Facebook posts.

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