San Clemente Man Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Hate Crime Attack on African American Man
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A San Clemente man was sentenced today to six years in prison for sucker punching an African American man who was working at a Laguna Beach grocery store. The attack left him with a broken nose and severe damage to his two front teeth.
Fernando Ramirez, 23, of San Clemente, was convicted in October 2019 of one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury, one misdemeanor violation of civil rights by force, and a felony hate crime enhancement.
The 26-year-old victim was working at the Whole Foods Market in Laguna Beach on June 15, 2019 when Ramirez ran up behind him and punched him in the face. The victim did not know his attacker.
After his arrest, Ramirez went on a rant filled with racial epithets that targeted African Americans.
“Hate does not belong anywhere, but hate crimes are on the rise in Orange County and it cannot and will not be tolerated,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute crimes motivated by hate to the fullest extent of the law. I want to commend Judge Leversen for taking this hateful conduct seriously and holding this individual accountable for his actions.”
Ramirez has a prior felony state prison sentence for a 2014 gang related felony assault. He was sentenced to two years in state prison for that assault.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos prosecuted this case.