He and another alleged white supremacist are accused of knocking out a man.
By Joseph Serna and Michael Alexander
Updated: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 4:21 PM PDT
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A Huntington Beach man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he and a friend committed a hate crime by beating and robbing a man simply for his being Latino.
Ryan Joseph Swanson, 19, of Huntington Beach, and Nicholas Gibbs, 20, of Anaheim, are charged with aggravated assault, felony battery with committing serious bodily injury, second-degree robbery, stealing a car and committing a hate crime and causing great bodily injury after allegedly knocking out 24-year-old Ryan Honeycutt and stealing his car and phone.
Swanson pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment Friday afternoon.
On May 26, prosecutors say Honeycutt was drinking with a female friend in Seal Beach.
When the two went to Honeycutt’s car to leave, Honeycutt discovered his car battery had died and the girl called her friends Swanson and Gibbs to give them a jump, prosecutors said.
All four went back to the girl’s house, and while they were talking, Honeycutt mentioned that he was half El Salvadoran, prosecutors said. Authorities say Swanson and Gibbs have white supremacist tattoos and told Honeycutt they were white supremacists before luring him outside as he prepared to leave because he was uncomfortable.
The men punched Honeycutt in the head, knocking him out, then stomped on him while he was unconscious, prosecutors said.
Honeycutt suffered a fractured clavicle, a concussion and cuts on his face, prosecutors said. Swanson and Gibbs went back into the girl’s house and grabbed Honeycutt’s keys, wallet and cellphone and left with his car, prosecutors said.
His car was found abandoned in a Long Beach parking lot three days later. Swanson was declared ineligible for bail, according to jail records. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
JOSEPH SERNA may be reached at (714) 966-4619 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.