A 35-year-old Irvine man is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on hate crime charges stemming from a religious slur he allegedly directed at two Muslim women before tossing coins at their vehicle from his car in traffic.
Brandon Ricardo Pascual was charged Wednesday with two counts of hate crime with the potential for violent injury. Pascual, who was being held on $50,000 bail, listed his occupation as “driver” in Orange County Jail records.
Pascual was accused of making a religious slur from his car toward two women, one who was wearing a hijab, about 8 p.m., March 1, as they walked out of a Target store at 3750 Barranca Parkway, according to Kim Mohr of the Irvine Police Department.
The two alleged victims got in a car and drove away, but Pascual pulled up alongside them moments later as they were stopped at a traffic light at Culver Drive and Alton Parkway, Mohr said. The women heard a “clanking” sound and soon realized that the same man who insulted them earlier was tossing coins at the car, Mohr alleged.
The passenger of the car was struck by one of the coins, but was not hurt, Mohr said. The women got a partial license plate and called police, who managed to track the suspect down with help from surveillance video, prosecutors said.
Pascual could face up to three years in prison if convicted at trial.
—City News Service
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