A 35-year-old man is facing hate crime charges after he allegedly yelled a religious slur and threw coins at two Muslim women — one wearing a hijab — leaving a Target store in Irvine, authorities said.
Brandon Ricardo Pascual, of Irvine, was charged Wednesday with two felony counts of assault-hate crime with ability to cause injury, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. If convicted, he could face up to three years in state prison.
On the evening of March 1, authorities said, the women were walking to their car when Pascual pulled up next to them and yelled an "anti-Muslim expletive."
He briefly stopped his car behind theirs, which prevented them from leaving, officials said. After he drove off, the women left.
A few minutes later, while the pair had stopped at a red light down the street, they heard clanking noises against their car. The same man, driving a Toyota Camry, was throwing coins at them through an open window, police said.
One woman was hit but was not injured.
The women recorded a partial license plate number and called the police. Irvine police used surveillance footage, as well as the partial plate, to identify Pascual. He was arrested Wednesday.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Det. Leticia Hernandez at (949) 725-7245.