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Hate crimes up in county, down in SCV

A group monitoring hate crimes reports Los Angeles County saw its largest number of hate crimes in 10 years — but largely, not in the Santa Clarita Valley, which has seen a steady decline over the past decade.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released its annual account of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County in 2018.

There were 521 hate crimes reported in the county last year, a 2.6% increase from the previous year. 

This is the largest number reported since 2009, according to the commission. For the past five years, hate crimes have been trending upward. Since reported hate crimes hit a 23-year low in 2013, there has been a 36% rise.

There were three hate crimes reported in the SCV last year, compared to six in 2017. In 2016, there were 12 hate crimes; and 13 in 2015.

Seventeen hate crimes were reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in 2010, reflecting a downward trend compared to the three prior years, according to the commission’s report released at that time.

The three hate crimes reported in the SCV last year each allegedly involved use of the “N” word.

On Jan. 4, 2018, in the city of Santa Clarita, a swastika and the words “F— N——” were found painted on the side of a business.

On April 18, 2018, in Stevenson Ranch, “a white male teenager was riding on public transportation and told the elderly black driver he wanted to exit the bus,” the commission reported.

“The driver advised the suspect he would stop at the next designated bus stop. The suspect became enraged and yelled repeatedly, ‘Stop the bus you stupid n—–!’”

“At the next stop, the victim escorted the suspect off the bus and asked, ‘What’s with all the name-calling?’ The suspect did not reply, but punched the victim on the back of his head,” the commission reported.

“The suspect then re-boarded the bus and a brief struggle ensued. The suspect then fled on foot. A witness identified the suspect and (sheriff’s) deputies arrested him at his residence,” according to the test.

On June 12, 2018, outside a U.S. Marines recruiting office, a white man was yelling racial slurs, the commission reported.

The incident happened in the morning that day, near the U.S. Marines Corps recruiting office on Valencia Boulevard at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall.

“(The suspect)  tried to enter the building and yelled, ‘You n—–! You are a monkey!’ at one of the supervisors. The victim was able to lock the door and the suspect yelled, ‘You had better lock the door, before I come in there and beat your ass!’” the commission reported.

The suspect was detained by deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and was later identified by the victim and several witnesses. 

“The suspect has a history of posting videos on YouTube and blogging about his anti-government views and his association with hate groups including ‘sovereign citizen’ organizations,” the commission reported.

The suspect — who had been arrested on suspicion of terrorizing someone and causing fear during the incident that deputies initially treated as a hate crime — pleaded no contest in December to the lesser offense of disturbing the peace.

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