Driver Put on Probation for Role in Attack
A purported member of a neo-Nazi youth gang was sentenced Tuesday to two years’ probation for his role in the spraying of a group of Latinos with a fire extinguisher.
The Latinos were sprayed from a passing car, some of whose passengers yelled, “White power!” authorities said.
San Fernando Municipal Judge Stephen E. O’Neil also sentenced Peter John McGurk, 19, of Sepulveda to 10 days on a California Department of Transportation highway maintenance crew.
McGurk pleaded no contest Tuesday to one count of reckless driving in the Nov. 11 attack on the pedestrians at Columbus Avenue and Parthenia Street in Sepulveda. The pedestrians fled the intersection, and no one was reported injured.
McGurk, who police believe is a member of the Skinheads, a neo-Nazi gang, drove the car. He was originally charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault and one count each of driving under the influence of drugs and being under the influence of drugs.
Those charges were dropped for insufficient evidence, Deputy Dist. Atty. Jessica Perrin Silvers said.
“I think the sentence is appropriate, given the fact that he has no record,” Silvers said. “We just didn’t have the evidence to prove that he intended beyond a reasonable doubt to run down those people.”
A passenger in the car, Robert Rufus Renney, 26, was sentenced Dec. 8 to six months in jail for spraying the pedestrians with a fire extinguisher. A 17-year-old youth who was riding in the car was not charged.
Police officers in a patrol car witnessed the incident and arrested the occupants. “Hate literature” with swastikas printed on it was found in the car, Silvers said.
At the time of his arrest, Renney, a transient from Pendleton, Ore., had just been released from jail after serving 45 days for painting swastikas and posting racist stickers on a Studio City bank.