Woman pleads not guilty to yelling racial slurs, punching man

A woman pleaded not guilty Oct. 5 to yelling racial slurs and punching a man in the face in downtown Huntington Beach, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

San Diego resident Jennifer Renee Vanveldhuizen, 36, faces one felony count of hate crime battery causing injury. She faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted. Her bail was set at $20,000. Her pre-trial took place Tuesday and a preliminary hearing is scheduled Oct. 19, according to the district attorney's office.

Vanveldhuizen, who is white, approached the Latino man, whose name is being withheld to protect his identity, about 7:15 p.m. Oct. 3 while he was cleaning a brick planter bench and emptying trash cans, prosecutors said.

Vanveldhuizen, who was allegedly intoxicated, is accused of yelling racial slurs and profanity, then punching him in the face, causing his lip to swell, according to prosecutors.

Police arrested her at the scene.

— Mona Shadia

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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