Two Bay Area men have been charged with hate crimes for separate alleged assaults in the South Bay, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
Richard Hanford, 62, of Los Gatos allegedly told an Asian American woman, "This is America, (expletive deleted)," before hitting her twice in the face in Los Gatos, the district attorney's office said. David Greenburg, 56, of Redwood City allegedly spit at a 93-year-old Persian American man in South San Jose and told him, "Go back to your (expletive deleted) country."
"Our community deeply values diversity, respects it, seeks it," Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. "Intolerance is not an American ideal. In these cases, it is a crime."
In addition to each facing misdemeanor hate crime charges, Hanford is facing a battery charge and Greenburg is facing an assault charge, according to the district attorney's office. Both men could face jail time if they're convicted.
The alleged incident involving Hanford happened at about 11:45 a.m. on Oct. 5, the district attorney's office said. Hanford allegedly told the Asian American woman, who was walking her dog on University Avenue, to move out of his way. When she told him he could go around her, he allegedly said, "This is America," before striking her.
The district attorney's office said the alleged incident involving Greenburg occurred at roughly 2:25 p.m. on Aug. 25. Greenburg, a salesman, knocked on a front door and was greeted by the Persian American man, who speaks limited English. The man, unable to understand Greenburg, said, "No English, my son will call you back."
Greenburg allegedly kicked at the screen door separating the two and then spit at the victim, according to the district attorney's office. Greenburg allegedly told the victim, "Go back to your (expletive deleted) country," before spitting again in the victim's direction as he walked away.
The victim's son, who heard what happened, walked over to the front door to confront Greenburg before calling the police, according to the district attorney's office.
Hanford is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 16, the district attorney's office said. Greenburg's arraignment is slated for Dec. 6
The district attorney's office said anyone who is a victim of a hate crime or witnesses one should call their local law enforcement agency.