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Man charged with intimidating protesters at "Stop Asian Hate" rally in Diamond Bar

Diamond Bar man indicted after driving into "Stop the Hate" demonstrators in 2021
Diamond Bar man indicted after driving into "Stop the Hate" demonstrators in 2021 00:38

A man was arrested Thursday on federal charges of threatening and nearly running down protesters at a "Stop Asian Hate" rally last year in Diamond Bar.

Steve Lee Dominguez, 56, was arrested on two counts of bias motivated interference with federal protected activities, the U.S. Attorney's Office reports.

The incident occurred during a rally on March 21, 2021. Cell phone video from the rally showed a group of demonstrators crossing Diamond Bar Boulevard and Grand Avenue when a man, later identified as Dominguez according to federal prosecutors, starts yelling anti-Asian and anti-Black slurs.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at the time, the man drove through a red light at the intersection while yelling racial epithets. He also made an illegal U-turn and drove between the crowd. Witnesses said the driver told them that he would be back.

According to the federal indictment, Dominguez's car nearly struck several of the demonstrators. No one was hurt, however.

Dominguez then allegedly drove somewhere a short distance away, pulled over, and then called police and reported that the protesters were blocking the street, prosecutors said. He told emergency dispatchers he had run the red light "because they were about to trample my car," the indictment alleges.

The rally had taken place five days after shootings at three massage businesses in Atlanta, Ga., in which eight people were killed, including six women of Asian descent.

Dominguez pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles Thursday afternoon. He was released on $30,000 bail.

If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

LASD and the FBI investigated the incident.  

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