By CBSLA Staff

SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — A homeless man was charged Tuesday with a hate crime after police say he yelled racial slurs while trying to rob a Korean woman in Santa Monica.

(credit: Santa Monica Police Department)

Melvin Taylor, 65, whose last known address was in Compton, has been charged with attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault likely to produce great bodily injury and a hate crime allegation enhancement.

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The woman, who had been with her father-in-law, said she had been trying to feed a meter when Taylor confronted her, asked her about her ethnicity and demanded money from her. When she refused to give him money, and tried to get back into her car, police say Taylor kicked the car door, pinning her down, and hit her repeatedly while yelling racial slurs.

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Santa Monica police say Taylor wasn’t affected when the woman tried to pepper spray him, and he took her phone and threw it on the ground while trying to take her purse. The attack was interrupted when nearby witnesses intervened, according to police.

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Taylor is being held without bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.