Man, 65, guilty of hate crime

A Costa Mesa transient was sentenced to eight years in prison Friday for threatening a group of teenagers with a knife in December while hurling racial epithets at them outside a pharmacy.

Ronald Allen Bramlett, 65, pleaded guilty to felony counts of aggravated assault and criminal threats enhanced with a hate crime and deadly weapons accusations. He took a court-offered plea agreement to eight years in prison.

Bramlett could have been sentenced to more than 18 years with convictions for a bank robbery in Oregon and a local petty theft from 2001 on his record.

On Dec. 29, Bramlett was in front of the Costa Mesa CVS Pharmacy, 1835 Newport Blvd., where a 16-year-old and his three friends were hanging out. The boys are black; Bramlett is white, and did not know the group.

As Bramlett approached, he called one of the teens "boy" and a "dirty [expletive]," adding that he was part of a well-known white supremacist gang.

He told the group they had no right to look at him because he has blue eyes and blond hair.

One witness saw the exchange and tried to step in.

Bramlett pulled out a knife and threatened the boys, saying "'I'm going to cut you up into little pieces, boy,'" prosecutors said.

Bramlett was arrested nearby after witnesses called police.

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