Four “skinheads” connected with neo-Nazi groups based in Placentia and Glendale may face federal charges in connection with a weekend incident in which a Middle Eastern couple and a black man were taunted with racial slurs, kicked and pummeled, an FBI spokesman said Tuesday.
The four, one of whom is from Yorba Linda, are scheduled to be arraigned on local charges this morning in Pomona Municipal Court. They allegedly attacked the three Sunday in the parking lot of a La Verne supermarket after shouting anti-Semitic epithets.
La Verne police identified the victims only as a 30-year-old Glendora man, his 28-year-old wife and a 34-year-old Pomona man who was attacked when he came to the couple’s defense.
Police refused to release their names, citing concerns for their safety.
Arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon were Scott Wilson, 28, of West Covina; Timothy Zaal, 25, of Glendora; William R. Killackey, 21, of Yorba Linda, and Killackey’s 19-year-old sister, Amy, of West Covina.
$50,000 Bails Set
The three men remained in custody Tuesday at the La Verne Police Station and the woman was being held at the Sybil Brand Institute in Los Angeles, Lt. Ken Swank said. All are being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each.
Fred Reagan, spokesman for the FBI in Los Angeles, said Tuesday that the agency is looking into the incident and that the U.S. attorney’s office is expected to decide today whether to file federal charges against the four for violating the civil rights of the victims.
Police said the suspects wore short-cropped hair, black trousers with red suspenders and combat boots, identifying them as white supremacist skinheads. They allegedly confronted the husband and wife as the couple were carrying groceries to their car. Members of the group yelled racial slurs at the woman, who was carrying the couple’s 2-week-old son, Swank said.
“It looked like they confronted the first minority people they saw,” Swank said, adding that the couple are of a Middle Eastern nationality and are not Jewish. “They accused (the couple) of bringing another Jewish baby into the world. The man said, ‘Just leave us alone.’ ”
One of the suspects then kicked the man in the chest, knocking him to the ground, after which the others kicked him as he lay on the pavement, Swank said. The man’s wife tried to intervene and was punched repeatedly in the face, he said.
When the Pomona man came to the couple’s aid, the suspects shouted racial slurs at him and beat him, the police official said.
The suspects had armed themselves with baseball bats when police arrived but did not resist when they were arrested as onlookers cheered the police.
“The skinheads . . . said they would do anything the white police asked them to,” Swank said.
The three victims were treated for cuts and bruises by paramedics at the scene but refused to be taken to a hospital, he said.
Authorities said the suspects were carrying cards from several hate groups, including the American White Separatist Group based in Glendale and White Power based in Placentia.
But none is known to be a leader in any local hate groups, said Jerry Shapiro, assistant director of the Anti-Defamation League in Los Angeles.
“We have a lot of groups like this that are basically one-man operations, and this (American White Separatist Group) is one of them.” He said the group has a Garden Grove post office box.
“There seems to be a connection with the old-time hate groups, and we are looking into a connection with the National Socialist White People’s Party, because they put out a paper called White Power,” Shapiro said.