A Southern California man accused of driving right into a crowd of “Cease Asian Hate” protesters in 2021 pleaded responsible Thursday to a federal civil rights cost.
Steve Lee Dominguez, 57, of Diamond Bar, pleaded responsible to 1 felony depend of bias-motivated interference with federally protected actions, in keeping with the British Each day Mail. press release From the US Lawyer’s Workplace for the Central District of California.
“Mr. Dominguez’s determination to assault a peaceable gathering supposed to lift consciousness of anti-Asian hate was unlawful and un-American,” U.S. Lawyer Martin Estrada mentioned in an announcement. “My workplace will stay steadfast in our dedication to defending civil rights in opposition to those that search to undermine our constitutional rights.”
Public defenders Kate L. Morris and Ijeoma Uchichi Ike, who’re representing Dominguez, didn’t reply to NBC Information’ request for remark.
The responsible plea comes practically two years after Dominguez drove his automobile through the Los Angeles rally, which occurred within the wake of the shootings at three spas within the Atlanta space, the information launch mentioned. A gunman shot useless eight individuals at spas, six of whom have been Asian girls. The shooter, Robert Aaron Lengthy, pleaded responsible to 4 of the murders and was sentenced to life in jail in Cherokee County, Georgia, in 2021. In Fulton County, he pleaded not responsible to fees together with homicide, aggravated assault and assault. Home terrorism, and will face the dying penalty if convicted.
On the Los Angeles rally, as protesters have been crossing an intersection, Dominguez approached them in a black Honda sedan and started yelling phrases like “Return to China” and different insults, in keeping with the press launch. He narrowly missed the pedestrian when he “deliberately” drove throughout a crosswalk at a purple gentle, made an unlawful U-turn, and reduce off a number of individuals together with a 9-year-old and one other minor, which Black mentioned within the press launch. “Cease Anti-Asian Violence” signal. He additionally reduce down an Asian lady holding a poster that mentioned “Cease Asian Hate.”
At one level, Dominguez allegedly received out of his automobile and continued to yell racial slurs, together with the “N” phrase, at protesters earlier than calling police and figuring out himself as “John Doe” to falsely report that protesters have been blocking the road. He compelled him to run a purple gentle “as a result of they have been about to run over my automobile,” the assertion mentioned.
No accidents have been reported on this incident.
His sentencing listening to is scheduled for Could 6, 2024. Dominguez, who has remained free on $30,000 bail since his preliminary arrest, faces as much as a yr in jail.
“We are going to proceed to work with our companions to deal with a majority of these abuses, the place people who have been merely calling for an finish to the violence have been senselessly attacked,” mentioned Donald Alloway, Assistant Director in Cost of the FBI’s Los Angeles Area Workplace.
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