News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Defendant Attacked African-American Man at Vancouver Sports Bar


June 8, 2011

            ZACHARY BECK, 32, of Vancouver, Washington, was convicted today of a racially motivated attack on an African-American man in a sportsbar in Vancouver.  The assault occurred in January 2010.   BECK was convicted by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan, in Tacoma, of conspiracy to violate civil rights, interference with a federally protected right, and witness tampering following a three day bench trial. 

            “There is no haven for hate crimes,” said United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “I applaud the Vancouver residents that stood up for fairness and tried to stop Beck and his coconspirators that night.  Both the FBI and the Vancouver Police Department are to be commended for their work.”

            BECK’s coconspirators - Lawrence Silk and Kory Boyd – have already been convicted for their roles.  Silk pleaded guilty to Washington State charges of malicious harassment and received a two-year sentence.  Boyd pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge and was sentenced in January 2011 to 34 months’ imprisonment.   

On January 7, 2010, Beck saw a black man socializing with white friends in Captain’s Sports Bar in Vancouver.  Beck twice told the bartender that the man should leave or there would be trouble.  When the man did not leave, Beck met Boyd and Silk outside the bar and agreed to attack the man inside.  Beck led Boyd and Silk back into the bar and confronted the man, who was the only black man in the bar.  Beck told the man that he should have left, and then swung his fist at the man’s head.  The man successfully defended himself, dodging the punch and putting Beck into a headlock as Boyd and Silk threw bottles at the man and shouted racial epithets at him.  The man ultimately released Beck, and Beck, Boyd and Silk left the bar shouting more racial slurs and promising to return.  But the man whom they attacked followed them out of the bar and pursued them while calling 911.  The Vancouver Police apprehended Silk, and federal authorities later charged and arrested Beck and Boyd.

Beck and his two coconspirators each have associated with white supremacist organizations.  Beck ran for city council in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2003 under the Aryan Nations banner. 

            The case was investigated by the Vancouver Police Department and the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bruce Miyake and U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Trial Attorney Edward Caspar.



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