Man pepper-sprayed Muslim family in N. Seattle

He allegedly told a woman she was a ‘dangerous terrorist’ and to ‘go back to where you came from’


Prosecutors charged a 43-year-old man with hate crimes last week after a woman claimed he unleashed a stream of pepper spray on her, her son and a bystander earlier this month during an anti-Muslim tirade.

The woman entered a 7-Eleven store in the 300 block of North 125th Street Oct. 7 and, while speaking with a friend, noticed a man inside saying things under his breath about not liking black people and Muslims, according to a Seattle police report.

When she left the store, the man allegedly piped up about his dislike of black people and Muslims and told her to “go back to where you came from,” the incident report says. He also reportedly called the woman a “dangerous terrorist.”

The woman, who wears a hijab, told the man to have a good day and he crossed the street to a bus stop. As she left the store in her car, the man allegedly shouted at her again and flipped her off, police say.

The woman drove back to the man’s location and left her 15-year-old son in the car to ask the man why he was yelling slurs at her, according to the incident report. The son stepped out of the car to stand next to his mom. The man suddenly pepper-sprayed the pair in the face, also hitting a bystander who claimed to be approaching the group in an effort to calm the situation.

The woman told police that the man, later identified as Jon Nereim, called her a “Muslim f**king bitch” and said he hoped to never see people like her around him and that they don’t belong here, police reports say.

After being detained by police, Nereim claimed that the woman and her friend were talking loudly in the 7-Eleven and that she called him a coward and looked at him with an “angry kind of smile,” police reports say. He also claimed that outside the store, she said she hoped he would die. He allegedly admitted to cursing at her and said she was “tryign to make this a racist thing.” Nereim told police he pepper-sprayed her because she had her fists raised and lunged at him three times.

Seattle police reported that his account was not corroborated by witnesses and that he may suffer mental health issues and paranoia.

He was reportedly armed with two loaded handguns during the incident.

Prosecutors charged him with three counts of malicious harassment, Washington’s hate crime statute.

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