A Fullerton man is due in court Thursday for an alleged hate crime against a pregnant African American woman that happened barely a year after the same defendant pulled a hate crime assault on a victim who is Filipino and Turkish.
Tyson Theodore Mayfield pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to felony criminal threats and violating civil rights, misdemeanor petty theft and a sentencing enhancement for a hate crime with a prior conviction.
The 42-year-old, who when he was last convicted was described as having a swastika tattoo on high right shoulder, is accused of insulting the black woman with racial slurs and threatening her after she got off a bus at the Fullerton station last Monday, Sept. 17, according to authorities.
The unidentified victim pepper sprayed Mayfield in self defense, and he grabbed her backpack and fled, alleges the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
After the woman called police, Fullerton officers were unable to locate Mayfield. But a few hours later, he approached the same woman, who ducked into a nearby cafe for safety, says the OCDA, which notes police were called again and Mayfield was arrested this time.
He is used to brushes with police, having been arrested July 13 on suspicion of defecating in public 10 days before. That case has not been resolved, according to court records.
On Sept. 4, 2017, which was Labor Day, Mayfield approached the Filipino/Turkish man he did not know and asked to borrow a lighter. After the stranger informed he had no flame, Mayfield became “agitated,” called the victim an unspecified racial slur and punched him multiple times, the OCDA said at the time. Fullerton cops got that call as well, and Mayfield was arrested.
Mayfield went on to cop to misdemeanor counts of violating a victim’s civil rights and causing a violent injury. Orange County Superior Court Judge Kazuharu Makino sentenced Mayfield on Oct. 20, 2017, to a year in jail. However, he was released from custody for time served.
He has pleaded guilty other times as well. In June 2008, Mayfield copped to a felony count of mayhem and was sentenced to four years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon in February 2005, earning a two-year prison stretch.
Maybe that’s where he’d rather be?
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.