Two 18-year-old men were charged Wednesday with a racially motivated carjacking in Santa Ana.
Moises Gonzalo Ruizvargas is charged with carjacking and violation of civil rights, both felonies, and faces a sentencing enhancement for a hate crime, according to court records.
Brian Alexandro Estradaduran is charged with carjacking and committing a secondary offense while released from custody.
Both men pleaded not guilty in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana and were ordered to return to court Dec. 16 for a pretrial hearing at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
A 17-year-old boy was also arrested in connection with the attack, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, but the status of his case was unknown.
The victim was leaving her boyfriend’s house Monday about 11:20 p.m. when the three confronted her, indicating they had a gun, Bertagna alleged. The woman feared she would be kidnapped, so she “dropped her stuff and split and they jumped into her newer-model BMW,” he said.
The thieves “apparently didn’t know how to drive it so it stalled down the road,” and an officer who spotted the vehicle arrested the trio, Bertagna said.
“They made statements in interviews that they picked her because of her race,” Bertagna said of the victim, who is Black.
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