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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man suspected of hate crime after holding family at knifepoint at Post Falls rest stop, saying, ‘Go back to Africa’

UPDATED: Tue., July 13, 2021

A man was arrested Sunday after pulling a knife on a family at a Post Falls rest stop while spewing racial slurs, according to court documents.

Charles J. Short, 45, was arrested on suspicion of malicious harassment and aggravated assault, both felonies, in connection with the incident.

Just after 9 a.m. Sunday, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Westbound Huetter Rest Stop after reports of a man holding a family at knifepoint.

When officers arrived, they found that Short had been separated from the family, according to court documents. Short told police he stopped at the rest stop to pick up trash because his father was an Eagle Scout and it was an honorable thing to do, according to court documents.

He told police that a man came up and told him to leave the area. Short said that made him very upset and he told the man to mind his own business with a racial slur.

Short said the the other man then threatened him with a small blue flashlight, but Short wasn’t going to be disrespected that way so he pulled out his knife, according to court documents.

The other man said he was with his wife and children in a grassy area when Short slowly drove by them waving but not making any facial expression, according to court documents.

He said Short walked around for a bit before coming up to the family and asking, “You think I’m an idol worshiper?”

He said he told Short to leave him and his family alone, but Short continued to hover nearby before opening his knife, according to court documents.

The man again told Short to leave him alone, and that’s when Short told him to “Take a walk, (slur).”

That’s when he picked up a small blue flashlight that he could throw in order to defend himself, he told police. He began leading his family away from the area, when Short lunged at him with a knife, according to court documents.

By this point, there were multiple people in the area, one person said they would call the police and Short left, according to court documents.

The witnesses that deputies interviewed all agreed with the man’s version of events, adding more racist remarks to the list of things Short said, including, “Go back to Africa,” along with threats like, “I’ll kill you.”

Short was booked into Kootenai County Jail, where he remains on a $100,000 bond.

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