A La Habra man could get three years in state prison if he is convicted of hate crimes against a Hispanic man and spitting on a Brea police officer, according to prosecutors.
Erik Lee Overturf, 33, was charged Wednesday with felony hate crime (assault) with present ability to commit violent injury and misdemeanor violation of civil rights and battery on a peace officer.
Around 5:30 p.m. Friday, Overturf walked into a Brea gym where his membership was previously revoked due multiple instances of disruptive behavior, according to an Orange County District Attorney’s office (OCDA) arraignment statement.
“The defendant is accused of repeatedly yelling racial slurs at the gym’s manager John Doe, who is Hispanic, throwing a scanner and pushing a computer monitor from the gym’s front desk area, and attempting to punch John Doe,” the OCDA states.
“He is accused of being substantially motivated to commit violence because of the victim’s race.”
Brea Police Department officers arrived at the gym and arrested Overturf. But while he was sitting in the backseat of a police vehicle, he allegedly yelled profanities and spit at a police officer, according to the OCDA.
Overturf is due in a North Justice Center courtroom in Fullerton next Thursday, Jan. 25, for a pre-trial hearing.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.