SAN DIEGO — The man accused of assaulting and hurling racist slurs at a San Diego Gas and Electric worker in Ocean Beach has been convicted of all charges, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
Roger Stefan Witthoeft Jr., 34, was convicted of misdemeanor battery with a hate crime allegation and violating the victim’s civil rights, said a news release on behalf of City Attorney Mara Elliot.
The conviction stems from an attack on Sept. 14, 2021 when Witthoeft confronted and attacked an SDG&E employee who was diverting traffic from a work zone at the intersection of Voltaire Street and Mendocino Boulevard in Ocean Beach.
Witthoeft slapped the worker on the head, knocking off his hard hat and told the victim (who is Latino) to “talk in English you f—ing immigrant” and “go back to your country,” Elliot said.
“This jury has sent a clear message that violent, abusive, and racist conduct like this has no place in our community,” said a quote attributed to Elliott. “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 is the half-brother of Ashli Babbitt, the Ocean Beach woman killed by police during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Babbitt’s husband Aaron told FOX 5 that Witthoeft and Babbitt had been estranged for over six months prior to her death.
Witthoeft is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 13, where he faces a possible sentence of up to one year in jail, one year of probation and a $1,000 fine, according to the City Attorney’s Office.