A 37-year-old Lynnwood man was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury for a hate crime and four counts of interstate threats, the U.S. Attorneys Office said. Joey David George, who is in the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, will be arraigned on the indictment on Aug. 11.
“By law, the decision to charge a hate crime is appropriately deliberate – with consultation and approval from DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C.,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “In this case, the hate-filled threats to kill, based on race, are fittingly being prosecuted as a hate crime.”
According to records filed in the case, on July 19 and 20, 2022, George allegedly telephoned a grocery store in Buffalo, New York and threatened to shoot Black people in the store. In the second call George allegedly ranted about a “race war.” Law enforcement traced the phone number and identified George as the person who made the call.
In addition to the calls to Buffalo, George is charged in connection with a May 2022, call to a restaurant in San Bruno, California. In that call George allegedly threatened to shoot Black and Hispanic patrons in the restaurant. As the restaurant is a place of public accommodation, it is charged as a hate crime: Interference with a federally protected activity.
George is also charged with making interstate threats to a business in Maryland, saying he intended to shoot Black people at the store. The fourth count of the indictment charges him with making interstate threats to bomb a restaurant in Connecticut.
Making interstate threats is punishable by up to five years in prison. Interfering with a federally protected activity is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.