A Bellingham man is facing a hate crime charge after allegedly yelling anti-Semitic slurs at a Jewish neighbor in early November.
Scott Michael Lavoie, 59, was charged Nov. 8 with the commission of a hate crime, a felony, in Whatcom County Superior Court.
Lavoie pleaded not guilty Nov. 19 and his jury trial has been tentatively set for Jan. 10, 2022.
Lavoie is currently incarcerated in the Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, jail and court records show.
Bellingham police were called around 9 p.m. on Nov. 5 to the 3100 block of Racine Street for the report of a racially-motivated dispute between neighbors, where the victim informed police he was of Jewish descent, according to previous reporting in The Bellingham Herald.
The victim told police that while he was outside that night, on at least three separate occasions, Lavoie came out and began cursing, yelling and making anti-Semitic slurs toward the victim. Lavoie also allegedly performed a salute associated with Nazi Germany in the direction of the victim, The Herald previously reported.
The victim told police he thought Lavoie was trying to provoke him into a fight, court records state.
On one of the occasions, the victim said Lavoie threw a glass bottle at him, the records state.
A witness told police they often heard Lavoie making racial slurs and heard him yelling about Nazis that evening, the court records state.
Lavoie admitted to police he threw the bottle, but said it was not at the victim. He also said he had not made any anti-Semitic statements, but officers noted he ranted about Nazis. Police also said Lavoie appeared intoxicated, the records show.