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3 men are charged with hate crimes in an attack on Latinos at an L.A. County park

Three men have been charged with hate crimes in an assault on Latinos at a Los Angeles County park, prosecutors said.

Ian Plankey, Richard Daulton and Kevin Stewart pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two felony counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of assault with force likely to cause injury, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

The trio are also charged with battery and assault, with prosecutors contending that hate crimes were committed because of the victims’ race or ethnicity.

The alleged attack happened Sunday afternoon at Stephen Sorensen Park in Lake Los Angeles, prosecutors said.

The five victims named in the complaint were playing soccer and speaking in Spanish when they were attacked, prosecutors said. Two of the victims were assaulted with a knife, according to the criminal complaint.

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy told the Antelope Valley Times that the suspected assailants were white men and “pulled knives out” in the park. The men “were screaming racial slurs -- ‘Heil Hitler, AV Skins’ -- and just numerous racial slurs toward the Hispanics,” the deputy said.

One of the suspected assailants had a wallet with a Confederate flag and made a "Heil Hitler" salute, the deputy told the newspaper.

Plankey, 20, and Daulton, 19, were being held in lieu of $185,000 bail. Stewart, 25, was being held in lieu of $245,000 bail.

The men are scheduled to appear at a Lancaster courtroom on March 11 for a preliminary hearing.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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