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Homeless man found guilty of hate crime against Latino woman

December 16, 2011 |  7:34 am

A homeless Huntington Beach man was convicted Thursday of committing a hate crime against a Latino woman and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years' probation, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors said Jonathan Michael Schmidt, 31, was riding his bicycle around 1:40 p.m. Oct. 4 when he approached a Latino woman in a car at a stop sign near Main Street, and, unprovoked, began yelling racial slurs and profanities at her. He then spit in her face, they said.

The woman, who was on her way to a chocolate shop with her sister, drove away and parked at their destination.

Schmidt caught up to her and again yelled racial slurs and profanities at her, then spat on her back, prosecutors said.

He then left, but returned shortly thereafter and rode his bike directly at her, forcing her to jump out of the way, according to prosecutors.

Schmidt accepted a plea offer and pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors of hate crime battery. He has a prior conviction from 2003 for false imprisonment, according to the Huntington Beach Independent.

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-- Mona Shadia, Times Community News

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