The brother of the deceased Capitol rioter, Ashley Babbitt, has been charged with bribery and vandalism in connection with an attack on a man who was helping his disabled friend.
Roger Stefan Witthoeft Jr, who is awaiting trial in another case, allegedly committed the act on January 13 in a neighborhood of San Diego, California.
On Tuesday, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said in an announcement that Mr. Witthoeft, 33, was scheduled to face trial in San Diego Superior Court on May 6 in connection with the attack,
He “confronted a man on Muir Avenue in Ocean Beach who was helping a disabled friend out of a car,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Mr Witthoeft then ‘got angry’ at the couple blocking his way on the pavement and got in their way before allegedly pushing a male victim to the ground.
“Witthoef blocked the victim as he tried to get around the car. When the victim tried to pass Witthoeft, Witthoeft struck him, knocking him to the ground,” the statement read.
The attorney’s office said ‘He then stepped on the victim’s phone and broke it’, with the incident caught on a nearby security camera.
Mr Witthoeft has previously been charged with attacking another man in the city in September 2021, for which he faces battery and hate crime charges.
The San Diego district attorney’s office said the Ocean Beach victim alerted authorities to the encounter “after reading media coverage of Witthoeft’s hate crime case in which he beat and verbally assaulted a worker of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) using racial epithets”.
Brother of Babbitt, the Capitol rioter who was killed while storming a US Capitol hallway on January 6, 2021, is said to have become “enraged” by the SDG&E worker’s van blocking an intersection in Point Loma Heights before attacking a man.
He then “slurred racial slurs and punched” the victim, who the DA’s office said was told, “Why don’t you fucking speak English, you immigrant?” and “Go back to your country, you fucking immigrant.”
“Witnesses told police that Witthoeft urged the worker to fight him, pushed him and struck the worker, knocking off his helmet,” a statement following the encounter said.
San Diego weather reported on Wednesday that Mr. Witthoeft was due to stand trial in June for assault and battery with hate crime enhancement for the September 2021 incident. He has pleaded not guilty.
“Mr. Witthoeft’s disregard for those who are different from him because of nationality or disability is reprehensible,” said City Attorney Mara W Elliott.
“Members of our community, 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.
It was unclear if he had an attorney.
The Independent Gt