COEUR d'ALENE - When a Kootenai County Sheriff's deputy informed Daren Abbey that he was under arrest in Bayview over the Fourth of July weekend, Abbey's response was, "What, you're arresting the white man?"
Abbey, a 28-year-old transient whose body is covered in white supremacist tattoos, had just been knocked out by Marlon Baker, 46, whom Abbey is accused of confronting and threatening to stab because of his skin color.
Abbey remains in Kootenai County jail under a $75,000 bond, charged with malicious harassment, a felony.
Events leading up to Abbey's arrest began when both men were inside J.D.'s Bar in Bayview.
Abbey approached Baker and told Baker he was not welcome at the bar because he is black, reports the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office. Abbey told Baker he would stab him if he did not leave.
Baker left the bar to avoid a confrontation and walked down to the marina, but Abbey followed him and continued threatening him.
Baker told investigators that Abbey told him blacks were not welcome in Bayview, and "he had better leave before something happened."
Abbey then poked Baker in the chest, and Baker, feeling threatened and fearful he would be stabbed, delivered a single, closed-fisted punch to Abbey's face.
Baker reported to law enforcement responders that Abbey immediately fell to the ground and did not get up.
Several witnesses support Baker's version of what happened. When sheriff's deputies arrived, Abbey was laying on the ground unconscious. Details of the arrest continue to spread across Internet news sites because Baker was wearing a Spokane Boxing Club shirt when Abbey began threatening him.
"Daren Abbey, professed neo-Nazi, barked up the wrong tree," "Neo-Nazi picks fight with wrong guy," "Professed neo-Nazi learns a costly lesson," are just a few of the headlines.
A judge found probable cause for the malicious harassment charge during a preliminary hearing held Tuesday, said Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh. A judge will be assigned to the case, and an arraignment will be scheduled.
Under Idaho's Malicious Harassment Act, it is a felony to maliciously harass any person because of race, color, national origin, religion or creed, and carries with it a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.