A 65-year-old man was charged Tuesday in connection with an alleged hate crime attack on a Korean woman in Santa Monica, but a doubt was quickly declared about his mental competency to stand trial.
Melvin Taylor is charged with one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and attempted second-degree robbery, along with a hate crime allegation, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Taylor allegedly attacked the woman while she parked at a meter in the 1500 block of Second Street last Friday, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He is accused of yelling racial slurs and mentioning the coronavirus while trying to steal her purse, according to prosecutors.
“A hate crime against one of us is truly a crime against all of us,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges. “I am committed to stopping hate in our community.”
Taylor’s attorney declared a doubt about the defendant’s mental competency, according to Ricardo Santiago of the DA’s Office.
Criminal proceedings were ordered to be suspended, with Taylor due in a mental health courtroom next month, Santiago said.
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