Homeless man convicted of hate crime

A white homeless Huntington Beach man was convicted Thursday of committing a hate crime against a Hispanic woman and sentenced to three years of formal probation and 180 days in county jail, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Jonathan Michael Schmidt, 31, was riding his bicycle around 1:40 p.m. Oct. 4 when he approached a Hispanic woman from her driver's window at a stop sign near Main Street, and, unprovoked, began yelling racial slurs and profanities at her. He then spat in her face, prosecutors said.

The woman, who was in the car with her sister on their way to a chocolate shop, drove away and parked at their destination.

Schmidt caught up to her, and while outside of her car, he again yelled racial slurs and profanities at her, then spat on her back.

He then left, but returned shortly thereafter and rode his bike directly at her, forcing her to jump out of the way, according to prosecutors.

Schmidt accepted a plea offer and pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors of hate crime battery. He has a prior conviction from 2003 for false imprisonment.

The district attorney's objected to the sentence, saying that based on the severity of the crime and Schmidt's history, the charges should have remained felonies with a maximum sentence of five years and four months in prison.


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