SANTA ANA – Two men pleaded guilty on Tuesday and were immediately sentenced to more than 100 hours of community service for a hate crime in Rancho Santa Margarita against a military veteran three years ago.
Nicholas Lloyd Reynolds, 23, and Coty Nebenzahl, 23, both pleaded guilty to one count of tort of violation of civil rights with violent injury, according to court records.
The two were at a McDonald’s restaurant at 30672 Santa Margarita Parkway on April 12, 2018, when they had a verbal altercation with the victim, court records show.
Reynolds shouted a racist epithet for blacks even though the victim was of Middle Eastern descent and spat at him as well, court records show.
At first, when the two men drove by, the victim, who was wearing an army shirt and hat, thought the defendants were friendly, but instead they shouted racial epithets and a curse regarding the US military, according to court records. When the victim said he was not black, they told him to “return” to an Arab country, court records show.
Reynolds was placed on one year of formal probation and sentenced to 150 hours of community service. Nebenzahl was sentenced to 140 hours of community service and 10 days of work at Caltrans.