Olympia police arrested a 78-year-old man Thursday after he was accused of attacking a woman on a bus, making vulgar remarks about what he believed to be her sexual orientation.
The man will likely face assault charges in Olympia Municipal Court. The Olympian does not name suspects until they have appeared in court.
The 22-year-old woman sustained minor injuries and didn’t require medical treatment, according to Lt. Paul Lower.
Officers responded to the Intercity Transit Center in downtown Olympia at about 9:45 a.m. after transit security reported an altercation. The suspect reported that he was standing outside when someone spit out the window of a bus.
He boarded the bus and confronted the woman who had spit.
An argument ensued, and the suspect made a series of derogatory and vulgar remarks related to sexual orientation, Lower said.
The situation escalated when the suspect tried to choke the woman, Lower added.
The Olympia Police Department initially referred charges of second-degree assault and malicious harassment, commonly referred to as Washington’s hate crime charge. However, the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office decided Friday the charges weren’t appropriate for the allegations.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson signed an order Friday for the suspect’s release from the Thurston County jail.