Two 29-year-old hate crime suspects were arrested Friday for allegedly saying “white lives matter,” performing a Nazi salute and assaulting a vehicle with a shovel in Torrance.
Gregory Howell, of Carson, and his wife Rachel Howell, of Seal Beach, were recorded in a road rage incident about 10:30 p.m. on July 22, according to the Torrance Police Department.
In a video circulated on social media, the two suspects — who appear to be a white man and white woman – – were outside of their white pickup at a stoplight near Artesia Boulevard and Prairie Avenue, according to Sgt. Alexander Martinez of the Torrance Police Department.
The woman in the video said to the victims, who were recording from inside their vehicle, “White lives matter (expletive)” and “only white lives matter (expletive).” The male suspect is seen in the video giving a Nazi salute and saying “white power.”
The suspects briefly got back in their vehicle, then the man exited, grabbed a shovel from the pickup’s bed and allegedly hit the victims’ car, according to the video and Martinez. The vehicle sustained damage to the driver’s side mirror.
One of the victims filed a police report about 10:50 a.m. the next day.
The race of the victims was not immediately confirmed, Martinez said, but a Twitter user claiming to be the female victim’s cousin said that the male victim is Black.
Authorities identified Rachel and Gregory Howell as the suspects and obtained arrest warrants for hate crimes and vandalism on July 24, police said. They were arrested on Friday.
Further information was not released.