Gang Member Sentenced In Glassell Park Hate Crime

By City News Service

A 19-year-old Latino man was sentenced Monday to 25 years and four months in state prison for threatening a black family in Glassell Park with a shotgun while shouting racial epithets.

Ivan Alquicira was convicted of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of making terrorist threats, with enhancements for hate crimes, gang involvement and firearms possession.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus ordered Alquicira to serve consecutive terms on each of the assault counts. Marcus stayed the sentence on the other two counts, ruling that Alquicira had the same criminal objective in making those threats as he did in assaulting his victims.

Alquicira yelled racial epithets and derogatory comments at the three victims — a man, a woman and her 7-year-old son — while standing on his apartment balcony in the 3100 block of Estara Avenue on the evening of March 26, according to Deputy District Attorney Amy Ashvanian.

He pointed a shotgun at the family — who had just come from the boy’s school — and then chased them when they ran from the scene in fear.

Officers from the LAPD’s Northeast Station surrounded Alquicira’s apartment complex after he went back inside and refused to come out. He surrendered nearly two hours later and police recovered a shotgun, an additional weapon and ammunition, according to trial testimony.

Though he never fired the shotgun, Ashvanian said Alquicira was trying to drive the victims out of Glassell Park.

“They left that night and never went back to their house,” the attorney said.

“When you take race and gangs and guns, it’s not a good combination,” Ashvanian said. “It really terrorizes the neighborhood.”

In 2006, five members of Alquicira’s gang were convicted of federal hate crimes for a deadly campaign of attacks on black residents meant to force them out of predominantly Latino Highland Park. Three black men were killed in three separate attacks.

“It’s not just waving a gun,” Ashvanian said of Alquicira’s assault on the family. “He did this for the benefit of a gang. It’s not a severe sentence for what he’s done.”

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February 28, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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