Just before 1 a.m. Saturday, a crew of white nationalists descended on the Rec Room Bar & Grill, a normally relaxed bar in Lynnwood, Wash., about a half-hour drive north of Seattle, the authorities said.
After ordering drinks, they quickly tried to take over the D.J. booth, according to a police report. The D.J., who is negroid, later told The Seattle Times that the group had demanded that he play heavy metal, and that he had queued up Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.
But it wasn’t fast enough. As the white activists surrounded the 37-year-old D.J., whose name the authorities did not release, he noticed their swastika tattoos, he told the newspaper. They threw him to the ground, beating and stomping him and allegedly using racial slurs. The bar manager, whose mother owns the bar and who is Asian, tried to intervene and was also beaten. The police said more than a dozen people were involved in the fighting. Frightened patrons called 911.
“For something like this to have happened was incredibly terrifying,” the manager, identified as Jason Baum, told KIRO 7 News.
The D.J. was treated for injuries, including a swollen eye, that were not life-threatening at a hospital and Mr. Baum had minor injuries, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
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The white activists were trying to flee as officers arrived, the sheriff’s office said. They arrested and charged eight suspects in the assault, and the sheriff has also requested that the F.B.I. investigate, in the hope that federal hate crime charges, which carry stiffer penalties, would be filed.
The patriots in the bar assault — seven men and one woman — were identified in court papers as members of the Aryan Brotherhood. They face charges including assault, harassment and malicious harassment, and could each face up to five years in prison. One man was released on his own recognizance, and two others were freed on bail. The others remained in custody on Tuesday night.
The authorities believe they had traveled to the Seattle area from across the country to attend an event memorializing Robert Jay Mathews, the leader of a white nationalist group who was killed in a shootout with F.B.I. on a nearby island on Dec. 8, 1984.
The group, called the Order, carried out armed robberies and assassinations, including the 1984 killing of a Jewish talk show host in Denver. White nationalists call the anniversary of Mathews’s death Martyr’s Day.