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Man Who Spit On Immigrant Sentenced To Write Essay On Immigration Hardships

PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Local) -- A homeless man who yelled "go back to your country" at a Ukrainian immigrant and spit on him has been sentenced to jail and ordered to write an essay.

Harold Eugene Denson III, 37, was arrested after he allegedly threatened a Ukrainian immigrant who was the manager of a car dealership in Portland, Oregon.

Prosecutors say Denson had thrown trash all over the dealership property on Aug. 25. When the victim was made aware of the situation, he walked over to Denson and handed him a trash bag -- asking him to clean it up.

The victim began walking away after Denson said thank you, but Denson then became agitated and yelled that the dealership was not the victim's property, calling it "American soil," CBS affiliate KOIN reported.

Judge explains why he wants defendant to write 500-word essay by The Oregonian on YouTube

Denson asked the victim where he was born before spitting in his face. He then told the victim to "go back to your country."

Denson then threatened to cut the victim with a box cutter, according to court documents.

On Friday, Denson pleaded no contest to one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of second-degree bias crime.

Judge Christopher Ramras sentenced him to 90 days in jail and to write a 500-word essay on the challenges people face when moving to the U.S. from another country.

Denson has until March to complete the essay, according to prosecutors. If the court accepts his essay, Denson's bias crime charge will be dismissed. Otherwise, he'll be convicted and could face more sanctions.

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