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Huntington Beach man sentenced to four years in prison for hate crime beating

October 25, 2010 | 12:27 pm

A Huntington Beach man will serve four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a hate crime, in which he beat a white man he believed to be in a relationship with a black woman, authorities said Monday.

The incident began Sept. 1 about 3:30 p.m. when John Keihl DeLoach, 20, saw a 22-year-old black woman -- whom authorities have not named to protect her privacy -- through the store window of the Beach Place Market in Huntington Beach, officials said.

DeLoach, who is white, drove his 2001 black Lincoln sedan up to the store and turned up the volume on his radio, which was playing music with anti-black lyrics, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office.

DeLoach was visiting a friend at an apartment complex when he came across the same woman about 9:40 p.m. as she was walking with a 26-year-old white friend, whose name also was withheld for privacy, Emami said.

The two victims were not in a relationship, she said.

DeLoach and an unknown man confronted the pair, yelled racial slurs and told them interracial relationships were wrong, Emami said.

When the male victim stepped in between DeLoach and the woman, DeLoach punched him in the face and kicked him twice in the back. The man suffered a concussion.

Both assailants fled the scene, but DeLoach was arrested Oct. 1. Authorities were still trying to find the other attacker.

DeLoach pleaded guilty to one felony count of hate crime battery causing injury and one felony count of hate crime assault causing injury. He was being held at the Orange County Jail, awaiting transfer to state prison, Emami said.

-- Stephen Ceasar