handcuffs.jpg

WENATCHEE — An East Wenatchee man is charged with a hate crime after a Feb. 11 assault on a tavern bouncer in Leavenworth.

Jason Richard Kaiser, 34, was arraigned Monday in Chelan County Superior Court on charges of first-degree theft and malicious harassment, a hate crime under Washington law. Kaiser is accused by prosecutors of aiming racial slurs toward the bouncer outside the Post Office Tavern, 213 Ninth St., just after midnight, and stealing the bouncer’s phone when he tried to record the encounter on video.

Sheriff’s deputies said Kaiser and Brawny Gardner Larsen, 24, of Shelton, were part of a group that tried to enter the Post Office about 12:20 a.m. The bouncer, 41, denied Larsen entry because he appeared intoxicated, authorities said.

The bouncer told deputies the group became angry, and Kaiser taunted the bouncer with racial epithets. When the bouncer began recording, Kaiser allegedly seized the phone and ran, according to deputies. The bouncer pursued but said someone in the group tripped him, and when he rose, Larsen punched him in the head, deputies said.

Deputies arrested Larsen outside the tavern, and later arrested Kaiser at a Leavenworth home. Kaiser faces a May 22 trial date. Larsen was cited with fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, and must appear in Chelan County District Court for a March 26 pretrial hearing.