A man arrested in connection with a downtown Olympia hate crime last year will spend more than four years in prison after pleading guilty to assault and malicious harassment charges.
Daniel B. Rowe, 33, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of second-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon, and one count of malicious harassment — Washington’s hate crime charge — before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson. The plea comes more than a year after Rowe stabbed a couple in downtown Olympia on Aug. 16, 2016.
Rowe was sentenced to four years and two months in prison.
The male victim is black, and the female identified herself Tuesday as Cuban and Samoan. She spoke at the sentencing hearing, but asked not to be identified and The Olympian doesn’t typically identify crime victims.
The woman said Tuesday that she suffered both physical and emotional scars as a result of the attack. She said Rowe attacked her first, punching and stabbing her. She recalled him “smiling and giggling” at the time of the attack.
“I dealt with suicidal thoughts, I felt like society didn’t care about how the attack affected me,” she said.
The male victim was not present at sentencing, in part because Rowe had conspired to bribe the victim not to testify, said Deputy Prosecutor Heather Stone. Rowe hasn’t been charged in connection with the alleged witness tampering, and attorney Robert Quillian denied the allegations.
The Olympia Police Department arrested a couple in connection with the allegations last October, but charges were never filed.
Rowe apologized to both victims, the court and the community — but said he “wasn’t here to argue the motives.”
Wilson called his white supremacist beliefs both “unfortunate” and “troubling.” The judge explained that while the U.S. Constitution protects the right to have and express those beliefs, it doesn’t protect a right to harm others in the name of those beliefs.
“The Constitution does not protect actions that hurt others,” Wilson said.
On Aug. 16, 2016 Olympia police responded to downtown Olympia after receiving reports that a black man had been stabbed, and a white man — later identified as Rowe — was unconscious. Based on Rowe’s white supremacist tattoos — reading “skinhead,” “white power” and “hooligan,” and featuring a Confederate flag — officers believed the altercation may have been racially motivated, according to court documents.
Both men were taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. At the time, Olympia police identified the female victim as being white.
When police talked to the male stabbing victim, he said that he and his girlfriend had been drinking at the Clipper Club Cafe. After every drink, they would go outside to smoke and make out.
While standing outside after their third drink, the male victim heard his girlfriend yell as if she were in pain. He saw Rowe standing near her, and then he felt Rowe punch him, according to court documents.
Rowe began running, and the male victim chased him. He tripped Rowe, who fell into a car and was knocked unconscious.
When the male victim looked down at his hip, he realized he hadn’t been punched — he had been stabbed. The female victim realized that she also had been grazed by the suspect’s knife.
The male victim said Rowe didn’t say anything to him during the attack.
When police talked to Rowe, he said that he was part of a white supremacist group, and that he had come downtown in reaction to the anti-police graffiti put up a few nights earlier. He said he had taken a “blood oath” to fight on the street, according to court documents.