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Irvine man accused of hate crime against Latinos

An Iranian American man was expected to be arraigned Thursday in Santa Ana for allegedly attacking a Latino man and his teenage nephew in what prosecutors are calling a hate crime.

Arash Riazati, 31, of Irvine faces two felony and two misdemeanor charges related to the alleged Friday attack, as well as sentencing enhancements, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

According to prosecutors, Riazati was in the passenger seat of his girlfriend’s car at the intersection of Jamboree Road and Barranca Parkway at the boundary of the cities of Tustin and Irvine around midnight, waiting for the traffic light to change.

He was believed to have been involved in an altercation with some Latinos at a movie theater earlier in the day and became angry when he saw a Latino man and his nephew stopped in a car three lanes away at the intersection, prosecutors said.

He allegedly got out of his girlfriend’s car, approached the vehicle and struck the driver’s side rear door with a metal chain. Prosecutors said the occupants of the car, who did not know Riazati, were “extremely frightened.”

The uncle drove away, so the pair escaped any injury, prosecutors said.

An Irvine police sergeant, who happened to be in the area, witnessed the incident, prosecutors said.

Riazati faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. They will ask that his bail be set at $50,000.

-- Ann M. Simmons

Comments () | Archives (42)

That is what he gets. They had nothing to do with the earlier altercation. He should get the maximum time. Stop the hate crimes.

Way to be vague. Basically by leaving out the details this article makes it seem like any altercations between people of different ethnicities is a hate crime.

I love it - an Iranian attacking a Latino. What's really wrong with this picture? Neither the Iranian nor the Latino should be here.

Can you be more specific about hate crime? Sounds more like road rage.

I am really not sure how soon they decalred this as a hatte crime. If it had been a white or jewish guy, they would simply call this as vandlism. Wow, Irvine PD , how corrupt are you really?


Uh, I am not seeing the "hate crime enhancement" here. If an aggressor is of a different ethnicity and/or race than a victim, then we are talking "hate crime"? Sounds like the suspect can be accused of alleged property damage. Yelling a racial epithet makes the alleged crime better or worse.

The whole hate crime category is foolishness. It is a political tool for tools, not about criminal justice.

The whole concept of 'hate crimes' is nonsense. Is any crime ever committed out of love? Is not every crime committed out of either hate, malice, or disregard for the rights of others or the general concept of right and wrong? 'Hate crime' is an Orwellian concept that inches us closer to thought control and the criminalization of ideas themselves. The government should not be given power over our inner beliefs, no matter how offensive they may be. Layering a 'hate crime' designation on top of an already criminal offense seems like double-jeopardy and should be abolished. A crime is a crime, leave the motivation out of it.

Has a white person ever been the victim in a "hate" crime?

It must be scary to be a latino in this day and age, so much hatred and anger directed towards them.

He won't attack for no apparent reason. Those Latinos in the Theater might have done something shameful against him and he cracked. There is no excuse for getting even but in some cultures it's embedded. An eye for an eye. We are in a melting pot of both race and religion and with it comes the good and the bad. It's too sad we get more of the bad in the news.

I'm glad that police was there to witness such hate crime. Stop hate crimes!!! Learn to love one another

You have 2 choices, go back to Iran and get beheaded or move to Arizona and get elected governor.

Its only a hate crime becuase of all the stuff going on with AZ. Don't get me wrong, it was totally wrong what he did, but based only on the info the story gives, I don't see how its a "hate" crime. Dude could have assumed the men in the car were the same one's from the movie... If they were black, would it still be a hate crime?

ALL crimes are hate crimes no one kills you because they love you ???

7 years? really I know people who have killed someone who got less

Good, but he will come up with a lie.

I might just go provoke some illegals and then one they beat my white self up, I'm going to scream hate crime!

Gonna get rid of one at a time.........

Better questions Stephanie, what if it were a Latino or Black hitting a whites car? No hate crime there.....believe that.

this is laughable!an iranian committing a hate crime against anybody considering what has transpired with iraq over the past 7 yrs. that takes a lot of gall

@Joe. Could you further explain what you mean by "Neither the Iranian nor the Latino should be here"? I'm really interested in what you're trying to say here. I'm sure I don't need to remind you that some of these latinos have been here longer than you have. But you sure did a great job of adding your personal bit of hate into the story.

Back to the story at hand. 7 years seems a bit harsh for attacking a car and not actually harming any of the individuals inside the vehicle.

wow the pot calling the kettle black

The censorship on this site sux!!!

Too bad the attacker isnt white. We could see his picture on national news everyday for the next 3 weeks.

Latinos constantly commit similar acts against whites, asians and others, why do not we see these reports in media? There is a bias in this country, namely if you enforce immigration law, then you are anti-latino, if you say something negative about latino, you're a racist. Very sad for a democracy.

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