Lynnwood, Washington, man arrested for allegedly making interstate threats of racially motivated violence
Defendant allegedly called grocery store in Buffalo, New York threatening to shoot customers
Seattle – A 37-year-old Lynnwood, Washington man was arrested yesterday afternoon and is charged in U.S. District Court in Seattle with making interstate threats, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Joey David George will make his initial appearance on the criminal complaint today, Friday July 22nd at 2:00 PM. He is being held at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac, Washington, pending further court hearings.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 19 and 20, 2022, George allegedly telephoned a grocery store in Buffalo, New York and threatened to shoot Black people in the store. In the second call George allegedly ranted about a “race war.” Law enforcement traced the phone number and identified George as the person who made the call.
“The Buffalo community is trying to heal from the horrific shooting at a Tops grocery store. I cannot imagine the type of fear such hate fueled threats engendered in those just trying to go about their daily lives, said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “We cannot tolerate this kind of hate in our community and will not sit by while people seek to terrorize others across our country.”
In addition to the calls to Buffalo, George is charged in connection with a May 2022, call to a restaurant in San Bruno, California. In that call George allegedly threatened to shoot Black and Hispanic patrons in the restaurant.
The criminal complaint describes other threatening calls George allegedly made over the last 12 months to businesses in Maryland, Connecticut, and Washington State where George allegedly used racial slurs and threats to shoot customers at the businesses because of his racial hatred.
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the FBI with the assistance of multiple local police departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas Woods and Rebecca Cohen in consultation with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.