|For Immediate Release
Case # 08CF2531
October 22, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
WHITE SUPREMACISTS CONVICTED OF BEATING
AND STOMPING ON MAN IN SEAL BEACH
HATE CRIME ATTACK
SANTA ANA – Two self-proclaimed white supremacists were convicted today of beating a man unconscious in a Seal Beach hate crime attack. Ryan Joseph Swanson, 19, Huntington Beach, and Nicholas Tyler Gibbs, 20, Anaheim, pleaded guilty to the court to one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of unlawful taking of a vehicle, one misdemeanor count of battery with serious bodily injury, and sentencing enhancements for committing a hate crime in concert with another and causing great bodily injury. Swanson and Gibbs were both sentenced to six years in state prison.
On May 26, 2008, 24-year-old Ryan Honeycutt was having drinks at a bar in Seal Beach with a female friend, Amanda L. When Honeycutt and Amanda L. left the bar, they found that the battery of Honeycutt’s car had died in the parking lot and Amanda L. called Swanson for help. Swanson and Gibbs showed up in the parking lot and jump started the car, and all four went to a convenience store to buy beer before driving back to Amanda L.’s home.
While at Amanda L.’s Seal Beach residence, the group had a conversation during which Honeycutt explained that he was half Salvadorian. Swanson said “You mean you’re f***ing El Salvadorian? You’re basically a dirty f***ing Mexican.” Swanson and Gibbs, who both have white supremacist tattoos, identified themselves as white supremacists to the victim. When Honeycutt became uncomfortable and began to leave, the defendants lured him outside and attacked him. They punched him in the head, knocking him unconscious, and stomped on him after he had fallen to the ground. The victim suffered a fractured clavicle, a concussion, and facial lacerations. Swanson and Gibbs left Honeycutt on the ground, returned to the residence, and fled the scene by stealing Honeycutt’s car. They also stole his keys, wallet, and cell phone.
After Honeycutt regained consciousness, he returned to Amanda L.’s house and she drove him home. The victim then called 9-1-1. Honeycutt’s abandoned car was found three days later in a Long Beach parking lot.
Deputy District Attorney Israel Claustro of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.