Man charged with threatening autistic boy

Man charged with threatening autistic boy »Play Video
Mark J. Levison is seen during his arraignment in King County Superior Court on Thursday, October 16, 2008.
SEATTLE -- A Seattle man accused of threatening his neighbor's autistic son pleaded not guilty Thursday in King County Superior Court to two counts of malicious harrassment, the state's hate crime statute.

Mark J. Levison, 48, was arrested October 2 for allegedly yelling profanities at Chris Engen and saying that he "did not want to see that idiot staring at my house." Engen told investigators that the comments were in reference to his 13-year-old son, who suffers from severe autism.

According to court documents, Levison did not answer his door when officers arrived, and stared blankly "in a drunken stupor" before he was arrested.

Levison allegedly told police that he wanted the boy's parents "to keep that (expletive) idiot out of sight."

At the time of the October 2 incident, Levison was already under a court order to stay away from the Engen family because of previous threats.

On July 8, Levison allegedly threatened to burn down the Engen's house if they didn't keep their son in the backyard where he would not have to look at him.

Engen said the incident began when Levison began yelling and walked across the street.

"That's when he became threatening, and that's when he threatened to burn down his bedroom ... my son's bedroom, if he didn't go inside," Engen said.

The boy's mother called police. When officers arrested Levison for the threat they say he smelled of booze.

The police report says he kept ranting about the boy.

"I pay $1,000 a month rent and shouldn't have to see that idiot spinning around and staring at my house," Levison said, according to the July police report.

Levison is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.