The brother of Ashli Babbitt—the woman who was fatally shot during the January 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol—was convicted of a hate crime after assaulting a Latino employee of the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) company last year.
The San Diego Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Wednesday that Roger Stefan Witthoeft Jr. was convicted of misdemeanor battery and violating the victim’s civil rights for slapping the traffic controller in September 2021 and telling the man to “go back to your country.”
Witthoeft, 34, could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced December 13, read the release.
“This jury has sent a clear message that violent, abusive, and racist conduct like this has no place in our community,” San Diego Attorney General Mara Elliott said in the release. “My office will continue to prosecute and hold accountable people who commit hate crimes, and I urge victims and witnesses to report all such activity.”
Witthoeft had reportedly become “enraged” last year when the SDG&E worker was diverting traffic at an intersection in Point Loma while his colleagues repaired a utility box. The release said Witthoeft had also told the worker to “talk in English” although the two were already communicating in English.
Witthoeft was also convicted of vandalism in 2016 after kicking the window out of a 71-year-old Latino man’s camper shell. The attorney general’s office said that the Latino driver had asked Witthoeft to move his truck before he started screaming at the victim.
Babbitt was shot by Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, after rioters broke a glass panel on a door inside the Capitol and she had attempted to climb through it. According to Babbitt’s family, she was a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Babbitt’s mother in January had commemorated the 35-year-old’s death at the Capitol and called for “justice” for those arrested and killed in the breach.
Rosanne Boyland, 34, and Kevin Greeson, 55, also died in the January 6 attack. Boyland was trampled to death when protesters surged against police and Greeson suffered a heart attack. Both attended the riot in support of Trump.
Newsweek has reached out to Elliott’s office for comment.
Update 11/9/22, 9:39 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and background.