Courts & Law

Hate crime charge for Stanton man

A STANTON man was charged with a hate crime for an incident at a Westminster park (Shutterstock).

A Stanton man has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly using a hatchet to break out a car window while a man was driving away after an altercation at a park. 

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, the man hurled a racial slur for black people at a man playing basketball with his cousins and attempted to punch him before the victim and his fellow basketball players got in the car and attempted to leave.

Christopher Robargae, 33, of Stanton has been charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, one felony count of violation of civil rights with a violent injury, and a felony enhancement of a hate crime. Robarge has also been charged with one misdemeanor count of vandalism. He pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

Robargae has prior strikes for assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. He faces 38 years to life in prison if convicted on all counts.

On June 30, 2020, the victim and his cousins were playing basketball in a Westminster park when a man, later identified as Robargae, is accused of approaching the victim and called him a derogatory name for black people. The man took a swing at the victim, but missed.

The victim and his cousins left the basketball court and attempted to drive away, but Robarge is accused of following them and using a hatchet to smash the driver’s window.

“We have made it incredibly clear at every opportunity, including statements to the media, public appearances and in court filings that hate will be punished to the fullest extent of the law in Orange County. This defendant must not have gotten the message,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. 

“The full force of the District Attorney will be behind this case so that this defendant and any other person who tries to hate in the future by an act of violence will know Orange County is not a place to be a hater.”

Robargae is currently being held on $750,000 bail at the Intake Release Center.

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