SEAL BEACH MAN CHARGED WITH HATE CRIMES FOR ASSAULTING SAME-SEX COUPLE, FORCING PHONE AWAY AS THEY CALLED 911, AND SLAMMING VICTIM’S ARM IN CAR DOOR
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Seal Beach man was charged yesterday with hate crimes for assaulting a same-sex couple by forcing the phone away from one victim as he called 911 and slamming the other victim’s arm in his car door.
Wade James Rutledge, 27, Seal Beach
Charged on Dec. 5, 2017, with the following felony counts:
Dissuading a witness by force or threat
Assault – Hate crime causing violent injury
Seven years in state prison
Dec. 14, 2017
Department W-1, West Justice Center, Westminster
Circumstances of the Case
On Nov. 3, 2017, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Rutledge is accused of approaching John Doe 1 and his boyfriend John Doe 2 in a parking lot near 10th Street and Ocean Avenue in Seal Beach.
The defendant and his associates are accused of making derogatory remarks about the couple’s same-sex relationship and threatening them with violence if they did not leave.
John Doe 1 called 911 and Rutledge is accused of grabbing the victim’s arm, forcing the phone out of his hand, disconnecting the 911 call, and walking back to his friends.
Rutledge is accused of returning the phone but telling John Doe 1 to leave and not call the police.
As the victims entered their car to leave, the defendant is accused of shoving John Doe 2 into the passenger seat and slamming the door on the victim’s arm while yelling at them to hurry and leave the area.
Seal Beach Police Department (SBPD) investigated this case and identified Rutledge, who was located and arrested in a Seal Beach parking lot on Dec. 3, 2017.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact SBPD Detective Jeff Gibson at 562-799-4100 ext. 1109.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos, Special Prosecutions Unit