The brother of Ashli Babbitt, the San Diego woman fatally shot during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, is facing new criminal charges stemming from an alleged attack on a man in Ocean Beach, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Roger Witthoeft, 33, was already facing charges for allegedly slapping a Latino San Diego Gas & Electric worker in September and telling him to “talk in English you (expletive) immigrant” and “go back to your country.”
Prosecutors say the worker was diverting traffic at a Point Loma intersection where SDG&E workers were repairing a utility box, causing Witthoeft to become “enraged” because the worker’s truck was stopped in the intersection.
About four months later, Witthoeft got into an altercation with another man on Muir Avenue in Ocean Beach, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
In that case, he allegedly became angry with the man for blocking a sidewalk with his car. The City Attorney’s Office said the man was helping a disabled friend out of the car when Witthoeft encountered him.
Witthoeft is accused of striking the victim, knocking him to the ground, then stomping on the man’s phone. The City Attorney’s Office says the victim contacted prosecutors after reading news coverage of his hate crime case.
“Mr. Witthoeft’s disdain for those who are different from him because of their nationality or disability is reprehensible,” City Attorney Mara Elliott said. “Our community members, visitors, and those who work in our neighborhoods have the right to be free from acts of violence. This office will fight hard to hold Mr. Witthoeft accountable.”
Witthoeft, who remains out of custody, was arraigned in March in the hate crime case and is slated to go to trial in June on charges of battery with a hate crime enhancement, as well as a count of violating the victim’s constitutional rights by threat of force.
He’s slated to be arraigned in the new case next week on charges of battery and vandalism.
— City News Service