Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
IRANIAN-AMERICAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR UNPROVOKED HATE CRIME ATTACK OF HISPANIC UNCLE AND TEENAGE NEPHEW
SANTA ANA – An Iranian-American man will be arraigned today for the unprovoked hate crime attack of a Hispanic man who was driving with his teenage nephew at an intersection in Tustin, bordering Irvine. The victim and defendant did not know each other prior to this crime.
Arash Riazati, 31, Irvine, is charged with one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of hate crime motivated aggravated assault with present ability to commit violent injury, one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance without prescription, one misdemeanor count of violation of civil rights by causing property damage, and sentencing enhancements and allegations that the aggravated assault was a hate crime. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison if convicted. The People will be requesting Riazati be held on $50,000 bail at his arraignment this afternoon, June 2, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
On May 28, 2010, Riazati was sitting in the passenger side of his girlfriend’s car at the intersection of Jamboree Road and Barranca Parkway. The defendant is accused of being angry at Hispanics after an earlier altercation at a movie theater. At about midnight, while waiting for the light to change, Riazati is accused of becoming enraged upon seeing two Hispanic victims, an uncle and his nephew, who were sitting inside a car stopped three lanes away from the defendant at the same intersection near The District at the Tustin Legacy. The defendant is accused of getting out of his girlfriend’s car holding a metal chain, approaching the driver’s side of the victim’s vehicle, and striking driver’s rear side door. Both victims were extremely frightened during the attack, but suffered no injuries because the uncle was able to accelerate out of the way.
An Irvine Police Sergeant happened to be in the area and observed the incident. The Irvine Police Department investigated this case.
Deputy District Attorney Israel Claustro of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.