A Southern California man was arrested Thursday and charged for allegedly disrupting a peaceful rally against anti-Asian racism last year and telling protesters to “Go back to China,” officials said.
Steve Lee Dominguez, a 56-year-old resident of Diamond Bar, has been charged with two counts of bias-motivated interference with federal protected activities, prosecutors said.
The “Stop Asian Hate” protest in Los Angeles County unfolded on March 21 last year, just five days after a gunman fatally shot eight people near Atlanta. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent.
The rally attendees were peacefully and legally crossing the intersection of Diamond Bar Boulevard and Grand Avenue as Dominguez approached in his black Honda sedan, according to a grand jury indictment.
Dominguez started yelling “Go back to China” and obscenities at the rally participants at the intersection, according to the indictment.
“Defendant Dominguez then deliberately drove his car through the crosswalk of the intersection at the red light, made an illegal u-turn and cut off the route of several rally participants lawfully crossing the pedestrian crosswalk.”
He again yelled an obscenity while nearly hitting a 9-year-old girl, the indictment said.
Dominguez also yelled “racial epithets at the rally participants,” the indictment said.
Dominguez’s attorney could not be immediately reached by NBC News for comment Thursday afternoon.
Messages left at several phone numbers listed for Dominguez and his family in Southern California were not immediately returned.