Man convicted of hate crime in attack on bus rider he thought was gay
A Los Angeles man was convicted of a hate crime and battery Tuesday for attacking a man he believed to be gay at a downtown bus stop.
Johnny Rene Serrato, 35, pleaded no contest to a hate crime and misdemeanor battery charges, according to city prosecutors.
He was sentenced by Judge Robert C. Vanderet to six months in jail, 36 months' summary probation and was ordered to undergo psychological treatment.
Serrato attacked the victim March 29 after a chance conversation at a bus stop at 1st Street and Broadway, according to Deputy City Atty. Spencer Hart of the special trials unit.
It began when the victim, stepping onto a bus, complimented Serrato’s sunglasses, according to the police report.
Serrato, believing the victim was gay, pummeled the 39-year-old man, who was left with a bloody nose, a swollen cheek, a bump on the head and a bruised back and shoulders, according to detectives.
Serrato then spat in the face of a responding Los Angeles police officer and was arrested.
-- Richard Winton