A San Diego man accused of attacking three Muslim women wearing headscarves has pleaded not guilty to battery and a hate crime.
Kyle Allen, 50, entered the pleas Monday.
Prosecutors say Allen attacked the women after he encountered them walking on a street in Little Italy on Oct. 6.
Authorities say he shoved one woman, slapped another and tried to remove one woman's hijab. He also allegedly insulted the women and told them to go back where they came from.
"He grabbed the hijab and ripped it off the third woman while saying, ‘Go back to your country. Go back from where you came,'” Deputy District Attorney Leonard Trinh said, KTLA sister station KSWB reported.
Witnesses followed Allen to his apartment, where he surrendered to police after allegedly answering the door while holding a handgun with a silencer.
His attorney argued that Allen was was beat up by the witnesses and had the gun because he was rattled. Police confiscated 10 guns from his apartment, KSWB reported.
He could spend nearly 4 ½ years in prison if convicted.