West Seattle man arrested for hate crime in baseball bat attack

A 34-year-old West Seattle man is charged with malicious harassment (Washington State’s hate crime statute) and third degree assault for allegedly attacking another man with a baseball bat while yelling homophobic slurs on Oct. 26.

The charges were first reported by SeattlePI on Nov. 4.

According to charging documents released in the case, the victim stepped off a Metro bus shortly after 2 p.m. near S.W. Bradford St. and S.W. Avalon Way and Ryan Joshua Cox allegedly struck him four times across the back with a wooden baseball bat while calling him a “homosexual” and “sodomist.”

The victim reported the attack to the bus driver, who called 911 while the suspect left the scene. The victim told police he believed he was targeted and hit because of his sexual orientation.

Court documents show Southwest Precinct officers suspected Cox as a person of interest in the attack. His criminal history shows several prior convictions ranging from carrying a concealed weapon to harassment and vehicle prowls. According to the court, “the defendant has had dozens of additional recent property destruction and weapon charges that were dismissed for reasons related to defendant’s mental health.”

The day after the attack, on Oct. 27, police received reports of a man shouting obscenities and homophobic slurs at the Solstice Park tennis courts near Fauntleroy Way S.W. and S.W. Webster St. Witnesses who were the target of the alleged shouting later told police they thought the suspect may have been “mental,” according to court documents.

Officers contacted Cox at the courts and found his belongings on a nearby bench, including a wooden baseball bat. When asked about the attack, according to charging documents, Cox told police an unknown male had lunged at and attacked him, forcing him to defend himself.

Police placed him under arrest, and charges were filed on Oct. 31. Cox is still in jail as of Nov. 6 with a $75,000 bail, according to the King County jail register.

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