Man, 26, pleads guilty of beating a 17-year-old Syrian refugee on a cart in San Diego because he spoke Arabic
- Adrian Vergara, 26, pleaded guilty of assault and hated crime charges on Monday
- He is in prison for five years for the October 15 attack in San Diego, California
- The nameless 17-year-old victim spoke Arabic on the phone while he was driving the trolley when Vergara approached him and pulled out one of his earplugs
- He asked: & # 39; What kind of waste do you have? Where are you from? Are you Mexican? & # 39;
- When the teenager revealed that he was Arabic, Vergara started beating him five or six times while putting on anti-Arab and Islamafob blemish
- Vergara was arrested a week later for an unrelated crime
- The police recognized him as the suspect wanted in the trolley attack
- Court records revealed Vergara & # 39; s extensive rap sheet with four previous attacks
A man who attacked a teenage Syrian refugee on a trolley in San Diego after hearing the victim speak Arabic on the phone has pleaded guilty for attacking and hating charges.
Adrian Vergara, 26, is in prison for five years for the October 15 attack. He kept his head bowed when he started his plea on Monday after accepting a deal with prosecutors.
The unidentified 17-year-old victim was in conversation with a friend through FaceTime while he was driving home from the school the Metropolitan Transit System trolley around 3 p.m. when Vergara approached him and pulled out one of his ear plugs.
& # 39; What kind of waste do you have? & # 39; the attacker asked. & # 39; Where are you from? Are you Mexican? & # 39;
When the teenager revealed that he was Arabic, Vergara hit him five or six times while putting on anti-Arab and Islamophobic stains.
He then left the trolley car at a station in Encanto. The victim, who sustained minor injuries to his face, reported the incident to the police.
Detectives have found images that & # 39; confirmed what the boy reported about the attack & # 39 ;, said San Diego police station Lt Shawn Takeuchi.
Adrian Vergara, 26, attacked a 17-year-old Syrian refugee on a trolley in San Diego on October 17.
The unidentified 17-year-old victim spoke Arabic on the phone while he was driving home from school from the Metropolitan Transit System trolley when Vergara approached him and asked where he was from. When the teenager revealed that he was Arabic, Vergara started beating him five or six times while putting on anti-Arab and Islamafob blemish
Vergara was arrested a week later on October 22 for an unrelated crime.
The police recognized him as the suspect wanted in connection with the trolley attack.
Court records revealed Vergara & # 39; s extensive rap sheet with four previous attacks.
In 2012, he was arrested for threatening a man with a billy club and sentenced to community service. The following year he completed a 12-hour anger management program.
In 2015, Vergara was accused of attacking another man, but the case was rejected.
In 2016, he was accused of theft and burglary for burglary in the Central Library.
The same year he was arrested for violating a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend. Allegedly he tried to kick her front door before he called her and said: & # 39; If you don't talk to me, I'll go to work and cause a scene. I don't care about my life. & # 39;
Vergara was accused of carjacking in early 2017 and was arrested months later for attacking a man. He was instructed to stay away from the MTS Imperial Transit Center.
The most recent data indicate that Vergara has violated a court order that was introduced in January 2019 to prevent domestic violence.
He is sentenced to five years in prison for the trolley attack on 5 December.
Vergara intentionally protected his face from cameras in the San Diego courtroom on Monday
The victim issued a statement last month about the attack, stating that his brother had also experienced a hate crime when their family first arrived in America.
& # 39; We didn't report it when it happened because we didn't think justice was possible & he said.
& # 39; When this attack happened to me on the trolley last week, I decided to submit the police report because we cannot remain silent about this. & # 39;
He continued: &  [My family] came to this country in the belief that we would have civil rights and liberties and security. When the attack happened to my brother, we realized that this didn't apply to everyone.
& # 39; There are many people who do not know Arabs and Muslims and believe that we are violent. However, I want to show that this is not true. When I was attacked, I could have fought back.
& # 39; However, I chose to remain calm and not fight back. I chose to follow the rules and submit the police report in the hope of justice. & # 39;
The teenager said that he did not identify himself in the media because & # 39; I am still dealing with the trauma and I do not want the attention & # 39 ;.
& # 39; However, I urge others to become victims of such attacks and not to say nothing, & # 39; he added.
& # 39; It is important to seek justice when experiencing a hate crime to ensure that such incidents do not continue to happen in our community. & # 39;
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