A San Diego man has been found guilty of willful cruelty to a dependent adult and one hate crime charge stemming from an altercation involving a disabled man at an East Village convenience store, thehe said on Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege that last October, a man in a wheelchair was trying to buy a drink at the 7-Eleven on Park Boulevard.
A passerby offered to help the man, asking William Padilla, 42, to step aside so the victim could buy the drink.
The City Attorney’s Office alleges that caused Padilla and the bystander to get into a physical fight and spill out of the store.
Padilla then returned to the store and used “disability-related slurs” at the victim, told him, “You stupid idiot, nobody cares, I could kill you,” and spat at him multiple times, the city attorney’s office said. .
Padilla was convicted by a jury last week and subsequently sentenced to time served for 96 days already spent in custody, one year of summary probation, and ordered to take an eight-hour anger management course.
“The jury was right. No one should be attacked like this,” said San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott. “Verbally assaulting someone because of their disability is the very definition of a hate crime. There is no excuse for the egregious actions of the defendant in this case.”