Two Seal Beach men have been charged with a hate crime after allegedly assaulting a gay couple, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
The incident occurred on Nov. 3 when the men, Samuel Wickwire, 18, and Wade Rutledge, 27, went up to the couple in a parking lot near 10th Street and Ocean Avenue.
Wickwire and Rutledge allegedly made derogatory remarks about the men and threatened them with violence if they didn’t leave.
Wickwire allegedly spit on one of the victims, and while one of the victims called 911, Rutledge allegedly grabbed the victim’s arm, and forced the phone out of his hands.
Rutledge then returned the phone to the victim but told him to leave and not call the police, officials said.
As the victims went into their car to leave, Rutledge allegedly shoved the other victim into the passenger seat and slammed the victim’s arm while yelling at them to hurry and leave the area.
Rutledge was arrested in Seal Beach on Dec. 3 and faces charges of criminal threats, battery and hate crime causing a violent injury along with the special enhancement of a hate crime. He faces six years in prison.
Wickwire was arrested Dec. 10 and faces the same charges and seven years in prison.