SANTA ANA (CBS) — An Orange County man is facing prison Friday after pleading guilty to a hate crime attack in front of a Costa Mesa convenience store.

Chad Martin Jurjaks, 30, of Costa Mesa, punched a 42-year-old man and his 26-year-old nephew in front of a 7-Eleven store in Costa Mesa about 10:30 p.m. March 15 because they were Latinos, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz said.

The man, his wife, cousin and nephew were walking to the store when an allegedly drunk Jurjaks attacked them as he yelled, “(Expletive) Mexicans,” according to Katz.

Jurjaks, who is white, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of hate crime battery causing injury, Katz said. Jurjaks accepted a plea deal from Orange County Superior Court Judge W. Michael Hayes, Katz said.

It is not clear what sentence Hayes is expected to give Jurjaks when he is scheduled to return to court Feb. 17, Katz said. The sentencing was delayed to give the victims a chance to make statements to the judge, Katz said.

Jurjaks could have faced up to seven years and four months in prison if he was convicted at trial, according to prosecutors.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (4)
  1. Raider Pirate says:

    Can’t we all just get along and set an example to the world!

  2. Joe says:

    Incidences like this can flare a fire storm of hate. Hopefully, as justice does its job, everyone should try to find ways to be respectful to each other. Try not to bring this unfortunate incident as a reason to spew hate among races. Don’t do anything that would bring disrespect to your ethnic group. Instead of protesting that there is racism, why don’t you teach respect, tolerance and honor. Don’t use hate and violence to “earn” respect. Peace is attained by being peaceful but strong in heart and mind.

    Responding with violence to an injustice gives the offender a reason to continue the injustice by responding with a greater violence.

    Behave honorably and with integrity because your ethnic group will earn its respect. Fight injustice with the power of honor and integrity.

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