A 36-year-old man was arrested Wednesday morning in Westminster in what appears to be a hate crime.
According to Commander Kevin MacCormick of the WPD, Danh Thanh Nguyen of Westminster was taken into custody and faces charges of attempted murder, attempted arson and civil rights violations.
At 11:45 a.m. officers were dispatched to the area of McFadden Avenue and Oakliff Drive regarding a report of an assault. The suspect was located in the area of Bushard Street and Westminster Boulevard.
However, he failed to yield to police and a short pursuit followed in which the suspect ran into a planter in the area of Brookhurst Street and Hazard Avenue. He was detained without further incident and didn’t suffer any injuries.
The investigation indicated that the victim was seated in his vehicle when Nguyen allegedly “made a derogatory comment” about Hispanics and threw a cup of gasoline on him. The attacker tried to ignite the gasoline with a lighter but the victim drove away, preventing a fire.
Police say Nguyen then drove away. It appears the victim and attacker were not known to each other and there were no injuries from the gasoline.
Nguyen was booked into Orange County Jail on a variety of charges. The Orange County Fire Authority Arson Unit responded and is assisting with the investigation.