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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Man Charged With Hate Crime For Allegedly Threatening to Burn Down Autistic Child’s Home

posted by on July 23 at 13:18 PM

King County Prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against a South Seattle man for allegedly threatening to burn down the home of a 13-year-old autistic boy.

Court documents say that on July 8th, around 11 p.m., Mark Joe Levison yelled at his next door neighbor—a mother of three children, ages 13, 10, and 2—that she needed to “keep [her] fucking retarded son in the house or the backyard like a dog; if you don’t, I’ll burn you[r] room down.”

The mother called 911 and police showed up at Levison’s door. Court documents say that when officers arrested Levison, he “smelled of intoxicants” and told the officers he “pay[s] $1,000 a month rent and shouldn’t have to see that idiot spinning around and staring at my house.

Levison is being held on $25,000 bail. If convicted, he could face 3-9 months in jail.

RSS icon Comments


Hate crime? soon, some what I post on slog will be considered hate crime.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 23, 2008 1:22 PM

What the hell is wrong with people?

Posted by DanFan | July 23, 2008 1:22 PM

Was this before or after the Michael Savage broadcast telling autistic kids to quit acting?

Posted by Ziggity | July 23, 2008 1:25 PM

no one likes to be stared at. if his rent had been $750/month, i bet the spinning without the staring would have been ok.

"hate crime" seems like a stretch.

Posted by max solomon | July 23, 2008 1:30 PM

BA, some of what you post on Slog has been considered hate crime from the very beginning.

Posted by Fnarf | July 23, 2008 1:30 PM

If the guy had balls he would have burned the house down without warning the family: with the family locked in side.

Posted by Andrew | July 23, 2008 1:32 PM

This guys a real dirtbag for sure, but was any crime committed? I know stories of people being mercilessly verbally harassed that still aren't protected by the legal system.

Posted by Dougsf | July 23, 2008 1:33 PM

"pay[s] $1,000 a month rent and shouldn’t have to see that idiot spinning around and staring at my house.”

Sick situation, but this made me laugh...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 23, 2008 1:37 PM

Fnarf, i mean a prosecutable hate crime, not the imaginary ones that people make up because they are offended with my misanthropic opinions on groups of people.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 23, 2008 1:52 PM

Hate crime? Since when is being retarded a race?

Posted by Jeff | July 23, 2008 1:53 PM

My little brother has autism. He is not an idiot or retarded but sometimes he gets "stuck." Then he needs to do what his brain is telling him - repeat, repeat, repeat. He can't help it and really, it's not that annoying. You just learn to live with it.

Posted by crazycatguy | July 23, 2008 1:59 PM

@9, I think you and kesh are due for a love crime. Right?

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 23, 2008 2:00 PM


Not all hate crimes are race related. If the law says that people with disabilities are a protected class, then hate crimes can be committed against them too.

I also don't see how violent threats can possibly be legal.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 23, 2008 2:11 PM

Another fine example of the misuse of our BROKEN legal system. Granted the man is a fucktard and should have his tongue cut out by a proctologist but even I with my high school education can recognize the fact that this isnt a HATE CRIME.

Posted by drone5969 | July 23, 2008 2:14 PM

Well, this guy is clearly an asshole, but I certainly wouldn't classify this as a hate crime.

Posted by Hernandez | July 23, 2008 2:15 PM

i think it is a crime to threaten to burn someone's house down... the "hate" element was his own doing for choosing to mention the group this kid happened to belong to.

so it's a crime. and it's a hate crime because of the intoxicated gentleman's word choice.

Posted by infrequent | July 23, 2008 2:34 PM

uh, this guy threatened to burn someone's house doesn't matter if they're brown, green, gay, autistic or Stevie Nicks. He made a terroristic threat.

Posted by michael strangeways | July 23, 2008 2:40 PM

Choose your words carefully next time you get drunk and antagonistic, folks.

Posted by Greg | July 23, 2008 2:41 PM

i have to add something: in my post @16 i'm speaking legally.

in actually, it wasn't his choice of words that makes him guilty.

what makes him guilty is that he dislikes an autistic kid enough (because the kid is autistic) that he wants to burn down the kid's house. hate crime laws are made to protect us from people like this. he may not have even threatened to burn down the house if the kid wasn't autistic.

i'm not sure how frequently they charge people who only threaten to burn down houses (without the hate element)... but if they do at all, then they should in this case. and then the hate element is relevant.

Posted by infrequent | July 23, 2008 2:49 PM

Question: If I say that I hate people who committ hate crimes is that a hate crime?

Posted by Jeff | July 23, 2008 2:55 PM

@ the edge of 17...brilliant.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 23, 2008 2:55 PM

@ 17... It matters if it is Stevie Nicks. Oh, it matters mightily.

Posted by chaosbound | July 23, 2008 3:02 PM

@20 no, because people who commit hate crimes are not a protected group. nor do they require special protection. i get the feeling, however, that you are just making a point/joke similar to the old, "what about being intolerant of the intolerant" line...

Posted by infrequent | July 23, 2008 3:06 PM

He won't actually be prosecuted unless they can prove he had a clear intention to make good on his threat. Running you're mouth like an idiot USUALLY doesn't get you much.

I do believe, however, he should be badly beaten for this while he's in lockup.

Posted by Dougsf | July 23, 2008 3:07 PM

I adore Stevie Nicks.

Her name sounded funny in the context of the sentence. I was also toying with "Swoosie Kurtz".

Posted by michael strangeways | July 23, 2008 3:25 PM

This is an amazing story. Where in Seattle is this guy able to rent a HOUSE for $1000? I'm speechless.

Posted by Mahtli69 | July 23, 2008 3:29 PM

#26 - maybe that's why the kid is always staring at the house. "Really? Just $1,000 for three bedrooms?"

Posted by Dougsf | July 23, 2008 3:50 PM


I was thinking "Hmmm, he's been charged with a hate crime, I bet the landlord will evict him...for a thousand bucks I could live with the autistic neighbor kid. What was that address again?"

Posted by yucca flower | July 23, 2008 5:10 PM

This makes me sick. Physically ill. This is stretching the law in a way that I can't support.

I would never vote republican, but keep up this shit and I'd think twice.

The man is a violent drunk and should be prosecuted for something other than a hate crime.

Posted by octaviastkid | July 23, 2008 6:02 PM

@29: Exactly what is it about this story that makes you want to vote Republican? I don't recall ever hearing Barack Obama or John McCain commenting about this story.

BTW, autism is hell. Take it from the RainMan.

Posted by RainMan | July 23, 2008 6:33 PM

So Mr. Spangenthal-Lee I see you are highlighting hate crime charges that use terms such as "fucking retarded" as an epithet. Is it accurate to infer that you have reconsidered your own use of the word "retarded"? If so congratulations on gaining a bit of awareness.

Posted by LMSW | July 23, 2008 8:40 PM

Nope, LMSW, it's not.

Posted by Jonah S | July 23, 2008 10:09 PM

Hate crimes are designed to protect specific groups of people historically discriminated against to an extreme extent. If you cannot walk outside your front door without the fear of being threatened, taunted, made fun of, harmed,and are classified by subgroups of society as being worthless because of some arbitrary standard beyond your control, then perhaps you need to have extra protection under the law against those types actions. We all have a right to feel free and safe, most especially those without voices of their own. After viewing all the posts, obviously hate crime status should remain for crimes and threats aimed at disabled children and their families. So many of you have the nieve notion that it is fun or funny to call children with neurological disorders "retards" and to threaten them and their families for the biological condition of their bodies.
Can you imagine being that mom and having your beloved child threatened with death and taunted by the neighbors because of their dysfunctioning body? I can!

Posted by autism mom | July 25, 2008 12:21 AM

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