San Diego Assault Classified as a Hate Crime

San Diego Assault Classified as a Hate Crime

According to San Diego police, a local man was beaten up, kicked, and smacked repeatedly with a bamboo stalk in a Logan Heights alley. Police are describing the incident a hate crime.

Assault in San Diego Classified as Hate Crime

Just after 7:30 p.m. on April 15, officers and paramedics responded to the alley in the 2200 block of Imperial Avenue. According to Officer Robert Heims, the victim, a 56-year-old African American man, was beaten in an apparent random attack.

According to police, the victim was standing in the alley when a Latino suspect walked up, and in an alleged unprovoked act, began hitting the victim. The victim was then knocked to the ground and kicked several times.

Heims described a situation in which the attacker used racial epithets to express his dislike of African-Americans while kicking the victim.

The suspect fled the area but returned a short time later.

“The victim was still trying to recover when the suspect started hitting him again,” Heims said. “This time he was hitting him with a bamboo stick in the head and body.”

The victim was hospitalized with several injuries. None are considered to be life-threatening.

The suspect has been described as a Hispanic man, 5 foot-5 inches to 5-foot, 8-inches tall, clean shaven, wearing a blue hat, blue t-shirt, blue shorts and low top shoes. He had two tattoos on both calves, possibly an “S” and “D.”

He is wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and committing a hate crime, according to Heims.

Battery and Assault Charges

Should you find yourself in a similar position, with charges such as battery and assault, it’s advised that you work with a criminal defense lawyer.

Assault, Assault and Battery, or Aggravated Assault

The terms get thrown around a lot, but it’s important to understand the difference between assault, assault and battery, or aggravated assault. While they all involve one person doing intentional harm to another person, crimes involving physical attacks can be assaults or batteries or both. Depending on the seriousness of the attack, charges can be elevated to the most serious one of aggravated assault.


Assault is defined as the intentional act of causing another person to be afraid they are going to experience physical harm. While this is a broad definition, since actual physical harm doesn’t have to be involved, assault is the fact that a person fears imminent harm from another person. The broadness of this definition permits the police to intervene to prevent any actual harm to the person.

“Simple” and “Aggravated Assault”

Depending on the seriousness of the potential harm that may occur to a victim, many states make a distinction between “simple” and “aggravated assault.” Aggravated assault is a felony which may involve an assault with a weapon, or the intention to commit a serious crime. It can also be classified as aggravated assault if there is any legally regarded “special protection” relationship involved. If the assault is classified as simple assault its usually charged as a misdemeanor. In some states the seriousness of the assault may be classified as “first,” “second,” or “third” degree assaults, in which case a “first” degree assault is the most serious one.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

An assault with a deadly weapon is when a person accompanies a physical attack with a physical object that capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. All states classify assault with a deadly weapon as a felony because the use of a dangerous object automatically creates a risk of serious consequences.

Deadly Weapon

The term “deadly weapon” typically refers to a wide range of objects capable of inflicting bodily harm. Examples include cars, golf clubs, knives, and guns. Other things such as pocketknives, stones, shoes, canes, and walking sticks can become “deadly weapons” depending on how a person wields them.

Penalties for Assault in California

A defendant convicted of simple assault faces the following possible penalties:

  • up to one year in jail
  • a fine up to $2000, and
  • probation up to one year
  • (Cal. Penal Code § 241, 241.5, 241.6).

“Assault and Battery”

Assault and battery were originally considered to be separate crimes. While assault is the fear of impending physical harm, battery is defined as the actual physical harm done to a victim. While “assault” can be considered the beginning, “battery” can be consider the ending. Most statutes now do not make a distinction between these two offenses.

Penalties for Battery in California

Basic penalties for simple battery that are charged as a misdemeanor include:

  • up to one year in county jail
  • fine up to $2000, and
  • probation up to one year.
  • (Cal. Penal Code §§ 243, 243.2, 243.25, 243.3, 243.35, 243.6, 243.65, 243.8).

Theft and Robbery

In addition to charges of assault and battery, Campos is also facing charges of robbery. Robbery falls under the umbrella of “theft.” Here are some other common types of theft offenses that a person can be charged with:

  • Petty Theft
  • Property valued at $950.00 or less
  • Not taken from the person of another
  • Grand Theft
  • Property valued at $950.00 or more
  • Taken from the person of another
  • Of an automobile or firearm
  • Burglary
  • Entering the property of another with the intent to commit a felony.
  • Robbery
  • Taking the personal property in the possession of another, from his or her possession with the use of force or fear.
  • Identity Theft
  • Taking personal information and using it for an unlawful purpose
  • Receiving or Possession of Stolen Property
  • Knowingly buying, receiving, selling or concealing property that has been stolen from another person

No matter the type of theft crime, the punishment is severe. Theft crimes can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Fines, jail and/or prison time are often standard punishment. Individuals may also be subject to civil liability if the alleged theft is from a retailer.

Defenses to Theft Crimes

If you are facing theft charges in California, there are a number of defenses that can be employed to your advantage. Most notably, we will work to demonstrate that you did not have the requisite intent to steal any property and you had a good faith belief that the property was yours to possess. Of course, all circumstances must be reviewed when faced with theft charges but we believe in you and your day in court.

Why Work with a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

When faced with serious penalties or spending time in jail or prison, you need to retain a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court. If you are facing an assault or battery charge, or a theft charge, a criminal defense attorney will investigate your case’s specifics and determine if you were wrongfully charged. They also will be able to identify if there are any other existing reasons for why the case should be dismissed before it goes to trial. If the charges are not dismissed before trial, a criminal attorney may be able negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf. If a plea bargain cannot be negotiated, a criminal defense attorney will prepare your defense and represent you at trial.

Your Criminal Defense Lawyer and Emotional Help

While a criminal defense lawyer isn’t a therapist, they may help you deal with the emotions that accompany criminal trials. They can help by explaining the realities of the legal system and discuss what you may be up against during trial. Since they are well versed in the system, your criminal defense lawyer can also go over court rules and regulations, and the best way to navigate through the system. Also critical in negotiating a reduced sentence are the “unwritten rules” which a criminal defense lawyer is also well versed in.

If you are faced with criminal charges and possible jail time, you need to consult a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Sevens Legal Criminal Lawyers today for a free consultation.

Sevens Legal Criminal Lawyers

Criminal Defense Attorneys

3555 4th Ave.

San Diego, CA 92103

Phone: (619) 297-2800