An Irvine man accused of unprovoked Iranian-American-on-Latinos hate crimes reportedly pleaded guilty to charges that will have him spending 120 days in detention and three years on probation.
Sure beats seven years in state prison, which is what 33-year-old Arash Riazati was possibly looking at had he been convicted on all counts the Orange County District Attorney's office originally sought.
Riazati had a run-in with Hispanics at a movie theater in Los Angeles County on May 28, 2010. Still seething around midnight as he sat in the passenger seat of his girlfriend's car at Jamboree Road and Barranca Parkway in Tustin, he looked out the window at an uncle and his teenage nephew in a car stopped three lanes away. A now-enraged Riazati picked up a metal chain, got out of his girlfriend's car and rushed over and struck the driver's rear side door of the car holding the Latino fellows.
Both occupants were extremely frightened, but fortunately no one suffered injuries before the uncle managed to speed away. Riazati did not know the pair, and they did not know Riazati. And, it may have been one of those unreported hateful acts people with brown skin are subjected to daily around these parts had an Irvine Police sergeant not witnessed the whole thing.
That led to an investigation, Riazati's arrest and his being originally charged with one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of hate crime motivated aggravated assault with present ability to commit violent injury, one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance without prescription, one misdemeanor count of violation of civil rights by causing property damage, and sentencing enhancements and allegations that the aggravated assault was a hate crime. He was originally held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
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The Orange County Register reports that Riazati pleaded guilty Monday only to felony assault with a sentencing enhancement for committing the attack for racial reasons and misdemeanor being in possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.