3 Charged With Hate Crimes After Racially Motivated Attack in Lake Los Angeles Park: DA

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Three men were charged with hate crimes after allegedly assaulting several people playing soccer at Stephen Sorensen Park in Lake Los Angeles. (Credit: DonLuisMeza)

Three men pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges related to an alleged racially motivated attack on Hispanic victims at a Lake Los Angeles park the previous week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Ian Justine Plankey, 20, Richard Lawrence Daulton, 19, and Kevin Matthew Stewart, 25, were each charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one felony count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, the DA’s office stated in a news release.

Plankey, Daulton and Stewart were also facing one count each of battery and assault with the added allegations that the named offenses were hate crimes and committed because of the victims’ status and perceived race or ethnicity, according to the release.

The victims were playing soccer and speaking Spanish when the alleged attack occurred on the afternoon of Feb. 28 at Stephen Sorensen Park, prosecutors said.

Three white men approached the members of the group, harassed them “and eventually began assaulting them, beating them up,” according to Deputy Maxwell with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspects “were screaming racial slurs — ‘Heil Hitler, AV skins,’” Maxwell said.

Two of the assailants brandished knives and waved them in a “slashing motion” at the victims, who suffered minor abrasions to the face and head, according to the Sheriff’s Department. No one was stabbed.

Witnesses called the authorities, but the suspects had fled the location by the time deputies arrived. The three men were later found in a nearby field.

The three were scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on March 11, the DA’s office stated.

Bail for Plankey and Daulton was set at $185,000. Bail was set at $245,000 for Stewart, who has a previous conviction for assault with a firearm.

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