Bremerton man charged with hate crime after shouting insults at his family
A Bremerton man has been charged with a hate crime after approaching a black woman and her children in a market in Manette, threatening them and using the n word and other racial slurs, court documents show.
Prosecutors charged Joshua Gaulke, 43, with the crime in Kitsap County Superior Court on Monday.
Police responded to the incident, which occurred at the RK Mart in Manette, around 9 p.m. Saturday. One of the victims, a black woman, told police she told her three children to get away from Gaulke after approaching them in the store’s candy aisle, according to court documents. being held “very close” to them, believing that she recognized him from an online sex offender database (Gaulke does not appear in the county-run sex offender database from Kitsap).
Hearing this, Gaulke started yelling at the family and threatened to hit the woman, shouting the n word and other racial epithets, she said. A clerk told Gaulke to leave the store, and he did so for a while before returning once the police arrived. He started shouting more insults.
An officer wrote in a report that he tried to speak to Gaulke, “but he kept saying it was a free country”.
Even later, as Gaulke was taken away in a patrol vehicle, he continued to shout racist slurs at the family, the officer wrote.
Gaulke was arrested and jailed in Kitsap County Jail on $ 55,000 bail.
Nathan Pilling is a reporter who covers Bainbridge Island, North Kitsap and Washington State Ferries for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-5242, [email protected] or on Twitter at @KSNatePilling.
Consider supporting local journalism in Kitsap County: Sign up for a digital subscription today.