Man Pleads Not Guilty in Hate Crime Case

An 18-year-old Lancaster man has pleaded not guilty to federal civil rights charges that he assaulted African-Americans on two occasions in 1996.

Authorities allege that Eric Lance Dillard took part in the July 1996 beating and stabbing of a man who was attacked as he walked along a Lancaster street. Dillard is also accused of beating another man as he left a video rental store in April of that year.

A federal indictment handed down last week said Dillard belongs to the Nazi Low Riders, a white supremacist group that cruised Lancaster streets “looking for African Americans to taunt, harass, intimidate, beat, injure and assault.”

Danny Williams, 24, who authorities said also took part in the attacks, was sentenced earlier this month to nearly five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations.

An Aug. 18 trial date has been set for Dillard.