A man from Bellingham, Washington is facing hate crime charges for allegedly yelling anti-Semitic abuse at his Jewish neighbor in early November.
On the evening of November 5, Bellingham police responded to a report of a racially-motivated dispute between two neighbors, the Bellingham Herald reported.
At the scene, the victim told police he was Jewish and alleged that three times that night Scott Michael Lavoie approached him and screamed anti-Semitic slurs at him. He also claimed that Lavoie performed a Nazi salute in his direction.
Court records showed that the victim told police that he felt Lavoie was attempting to provoke a fight.
The victim also said that during one of the encounters, Lavoie threw a glass bottle at him.
According to court testimony, a witness said they had heard Lavoie uttering racial slurs on repeated occasions and also that evening screaming about Nazis.
Court records stated that Lavoie told police that he had thrown the bottle but it was not directed at the victim. He said he had not made any anti-Semitic statements. However, officers said he appeared intoxicated and was ranting about Nazis.
The suspect, 59, was charged on November 8 with the felony commission of a hate crime in Whatcom County Superior Court.
He entered a not guilty plea on November 19, and will stand trial in January 2022.