IRVINE A 35-year-old man is accused of making a religious slur at a woman wearing a head scarf traditionally worn by Muslims at a Target and then throwing coins at her and another woman’s car after the pair had driven away, police said on Thursday.
The women were able to get a partial license-plate number, helping police find him, and on Wednesday, July 26, Brandon Ricardo Pascual of Irvine turned himself in and was arrested and booked into Orange County Jail, said Kim Mohr, an Irvine Police Department spokeswoman.
He was charged with two counts of assault-hate crime with the ability to cause injury, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. On Thursday, he was being held on $50,000 bail. If convicted, he faces three years in prison.
On March 1, the two women, one wearing a hijab, a veil or head scarf traditionally worn by Muslim women, were leaving the Target store at 3750 Barranca Parkway. A man in a silver Toyota Camry pulled up alongside them and made a religious slur, Mohr said. The women got into their car and drove away.
Moments later, the victims were stopped at a traffic light at Culver Drive and Alton Parkway and heard clanking. The same Toyota Camry had pulled up behind them and was tossing coins at the women’s car, Mohr said. It was the man who had bothered them at the Target, who then pulled up alongside the women and threw coins through a rolled-down window, Mohr said.
The passenger was struck but uninjured. The victims were able to get a partial license plate of the Camry and reported it to police, Mohr said.
“In Irvine, we take this crime very seriously,” Mohr said.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to contact Detective Leticia Hernandez at 949-724-7245 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.