A counter-protester who allegedly sucker-punched a participant in Sunday’s America First rally in Laguna Beach has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of battery.
Richard Daniel Losey, 20, of Lancaster, Ohio, was ordered to return to court Sept. 1 for a pretrial hearing, according to court records.
Losey was being held on $5,000 bail, according to court records.
Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota said Losey sucker-punched a man attended the anti-illegal immigration rally at Main Beach. The victim was “peacefully speaking” with others at the rally when he was attacked, Cota said.
Losey left the area before police arrived, but the attack was caught on video and was circulated online, Cota said.
The victim contacted police on Monday, the sergeant said.
Losey was arrested as he was trying to buy a bus ticket to Ohio on Tuesday, Cota said.
Losey was originally booked on suspicion of a hate crime under a section of the criminal code that covers attacks motivated by political differences, Cota said. The victim is black, but there is no evidence the attack was racially motivated, he said. Losey was not charged with a hate crime in the criminal case filed against him.
The organizer of Sunday’s rally, Johnny Benitez, who lives in south Orange County, said it was his fifth in Laguna Beach and it was meant to focus on the “victims of refugees and illegals.”
The not guilty plea was entered Thursday.
–City News Service
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