A 21-year-old man who was living at Ryan’s House for Youth in Central Whidbey is accused of committing a hate crime against a fellow resident, according to court documents.
Christopher R. Furtner allegedly beat and threatened to kill the resident on Sept. 21 because of his perception about her gender or sexual orientation, court documents state.
Prosecutors charged Furtner in Island County Superior Court Sept. 23 with a hate crime and felony harassment.
The victim reported to police that early in the day Furtner had said discriminatory things to her, like “trans people and gay people shouldn’t be alive,” according to a report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office. She said she and a friend went for a walk in the nearby Rhododendron Park, but then Furtner started following them.
Furtner made additional offensive remarks about transgender and gay people and threatened to beat up the victim, the report states. He threw the victim to the ground and hit her about 17 times and kicked her, according to the report. He threatened to hit the victim with a large bottle before leaving, the report states.
Furtner claimed that he didn’t start the fight, but the assault was witnessed by someone driving by who stopped to intervene, the deputy wrote.