Kirkland man arrested for alleged hate crime against cab driver

A 26-year-old Kirkland man was arrested early Monday in Seattle for fourth-degree assault after he punched a cab driver.

The man got into the cab in front of the Five Point Cafe at the 400 block of Cedar Street and asked the driver to take him to West Seattle. The driver told police that the man asked him where he was from. When the driver said he was from India, the Kirkland man punched him in the face, according to court records.

The punch caused the driver's glasses to break, cutting him above his eye and causing his eye to bleed, the documents continue.

The driver told police he believed the assault was a hate crime because he was from India.

The Kirkland man then ran from the cab through an alley. A security guard at the Five Point Cafe did not see the assault but saw the suspect run from the scene. Both the cab driver and the security guard identified the Kirkland man after he was detained by police in the 400 block of Wall Street.

Police later found a pocket knife on the suspect.

The Kirkland man was released on his own recognizance Monday afternoon, according to the King County Prosecutor's Office.

The man is scheduled back in court on Wednesday when the man could face charges.

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