'I'll slit your throat:' Oregon man faces hate crime charges
A St. Helens man was arrested after he allegedly mouthed racial slurs while threatening to cut the throats of customers of a local Fred Meyer.
Adam Christopher Graham, 35, now faces two counts of first-degree bias crime, the legal term for a hate crime, as well as a second-degree bias crime charge and two counts of fourth-degree assault. He is accused of using racial slurs that target Asian and Black Americans.
Officers with the Scappoose Police Department arrested Graham around 9:20 a.m. April 24 following reports of an assault in progress at the Fred Meyer store, 51501 Columbia River Highway.
According to court documents filed in Columbia County Circuit Court, Graham became embroiled in an altercation at the store's self-checkout line, threatening an Asian man and his son by allegedly saying, 'I'll slit your throat [racial slur]. I'll kidnap that [racial slur] child and f--- him like I f----d my daughters. I'm pure, pure Irish."
Another customer, who later told police she identifies as Black, attempted to intervene, spurring Graham to reportedly say, "I'll slit your [racial slur] throat and kill you all," court documents allege.
Police arrested Graham at the corner of Highway 30 and Southeast Maple Street after he walked out of the store.
Graham's court-appointed attorney, Jennifer Myrick, described her client as a veteran who has struggled with trauma and severe mental health issues.
"I've been fighting to get him to the Oregon State Hospital," she said. "He has been denied that right for several months because they did not believe that he was dangerous even though I told them repeatedly that he was."
Graham was convicted of fourth-degree assault in St. Helens Municipal Court last year and has been convicted twice in Utah, once for aggravated assault in 2010 and for assault causing substantial bodily injury in 2016, according to a probable cause affidavit.
On April 10, Graham was arrested for repeatedly punching another man in the head at the North West Regional Reentry Center, court papers claim.
Graham remains behind bars at the Columbia County jail at this time.
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