Probation in Beach Attack
A New York City man was ordered Tuesday to serve three years of probation for committing hate crimes against two women who were attacked on Memorial Day while strolling on Black’s Beach.
Jeffrey Alan Ross, 42, who told investigators he frequently vacations in San Diego, pleaded guilty three weeks ago to a misdemeanor hate crime and to a misdemeanor battery count that was elevated to a felony because he admitted that the attack was motivated by anti-lesbian sentiments.
“He targeted both of these victims because he perceived they were gay,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Luis Aragon said.
The two women were attacked late in the afternoon of May 25. Although not present for Wednesday’s sentencing, they explained what happened when Ross pleaded guilty June 10.
Kayleen Stration and Anne Wilson said they were walking on the beach when Ross approached them while yelling anti-homosexual epithets. Wilson was knocked to the ground, and Stration was beaten and kicked as she attempted to defend herself with a backpack, the women said.
“He just came at us. . . . It was unprovoked,” said Stration, who noted that nearby beach-goers offered no assistance to the women.
Both said they were very angry that Ross felt it necessary to act on his perception that they were lesbians.
Aragon told Superior Court Judge Allan J. Preckel that both victims agreed with the sentence.
Ross could have been sentenced to up to a year in County Jail, but Preckel opted for probation and a six-day jail term, which amounted to time Ross spent in custody after his arrest.
Although the judge said Ross could live in New York and could travel as he pleased, Preckel ordered that he “not frequent that area of San Diego County known as Black’s Beach.”
When asked about the sentence of probation, Aragon said, “Luckily, there was no real injury.”