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Man admits hate crime after setting fire outside Seattle bar

A crosswalk painted to represent the rainbow pride flag.
Gordon Werner
CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
A rainbow-colored crosswalk celebrating LGBTQ Pride a block away from Queer/Bar in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

SEATTLE (AP) — A 25-year-od man faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal hate crime for setting a fire outside a Seattle nightclub called Queer/Bar.

Kalvinn Garcia, of Sedro Woolley, was arrested minutes after setting fire to the contents of a dumpster in an alley directly behind the club in the Capitol Hill neighborhood on Feb. 24, 2020.

According to prosecutors, he told police it angered him to see a sign that said “Queer." He later said he intended to try to trap and hurt people inside.

Garcia pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Thursday. He is due to be sentenced in September.

“Mr. Garcia endangered countless people who he did not know, and who were simply trying to live their lives, solely because of his own hatred,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a news release. “We must stand up to this hate at every opportunity, to demonstrate to our community that acting on hate will not be tolerated.”

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