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Man is accused of hate crime in connection with attack and racial slurs against utility worker in Point Loma

Scales of justice
(File)

The San Diego city attorney’s office has filed charges against a man accused of attacking and hurling racial slurs at a utility worker in Point Loma last year.

Roger Stefan Witthoeft Jr. was arraigned March 1 on charges of committing battery with a hate-crime enhancement and violating the worker’s constitutional rights by threat of force, the office said.

Authorities said the incident happened Sept. 15 at a San Diego Gas & Electric roadblock set up at the corner of Voltaire Street and Mendocino Boulevard.

An SDG&E traffic controller, who is Latino, warned Witthoeft of the road closure after he didn’t yield to traffic cones, signs and a utility truck with hazard lights, according to authorities.

The city attorney’s office alleged that Witthoeft exited his pickup and shouted racial slurs at the worker, such as “Why don’t you talk in English, you [expletive] immigrant?” and “Go back to your country, you [expletive] immigrant.”

According to the office, witnesses told law enforcement that Witthoeft urged the traffic controller to fight him and shoved and swung at the worker, knocking off his hard hat.

Witthoeft’s trial is scheduled for April.


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