A Seattle man has been charged with harassment after yelling racial epithets and other obscenities in public on Friday.
Steven Jay Watts, 35, was arrested on Friday afternoon for harassment and obstruction after he was caught hurling racial slurs at a black man in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, reports Kiro 7, a CBS affiliate in Western Washington.
Keoke Silvano, a photographer and advisor at the University of Washington, filmed a portion of Watts' racist rant with his cellphone. Silvano was leaving the Beacon Hill station when he noticed “this White guy was screaming ni**ger at this Black guy” and began to document what was happening, he explained in his June 15 Facebook post. Watts directed his hate speech not only at the unidentified black man, but also at Silvano and others who were nearby, as seen in the screenshot above.
In addition to using the n-word a number of times, Watts repeatedly said, “I run this country.”
“We built these streets. White men built these streets,” he said later, as he began to argue with others who had stopped to confront him.
Silvano, who is Filipino, told Kiro 7 that he tried to wedge himself between Watts and the man he was harassing to try and protect him.
“The main thing is if something happened either to myself or the gentleman sitting here I would have some sort of living document of what was happening,” he said.
Two white men later joined Silvano in confronting Watts and can be seen in Silvano’s video telling Watts that he was in the “wrong neighborhood.”
A bystander eventually called the police, who arrested Watts after he ran down the street, My Northwest reports.
Watts pleaded not guilty to harassment and obstruction and is being held on a $10,000 bond, according to Kiro 7. His next court date is reportedly scheduled for June 25.
Watts’ criminal record includes four prior assault convictions, North Carolina’s ABC 11 News reports.
[Photo: Facebook/Keoke Silvano]