Two Rancho Santa Margarita men were sentenced to three years in state prison Dec. 2 for an assault earlier this year in a Coto de Caza park. On the evening of April 6, 2011, Matthew Gregory Bransetter, 19, and Nolan John Wickham, 20, approached a 23-year-old man whose identity has not been revealed by police or prosecutors, and demanded money from him. The man, who was eating at a picnic table, said he didn't have any cash handy. As the Weekly reported at the time, the two assailants then began uttering anti-Semitic slurs before they assaulted him and stole his cell phone and jacket.
The victim went home and called 911 before heading to the hospital with a broken nose and jaw, fractured eye socket, cracked ribs and bruises on his face and body. Fortunately, the victim was able to fully recover from his injuries, but unfortunately for the attackers, he was an acquaintance of Bransetter, so it wasn't too difficult for sheriff's deputies to arrest both him and Wickham that night. Both men pleaded guilty to one felony count each of aggravated assault with sentencing enhancements for committing a hate crime and causing great bodily injury.