SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Seal Beach man was charged yesterday with hate crimes for assaulting a same-sex couple by forcing the phone away from one victim as he called 911 and slamming the other victim’s arm in his car door.
|Defendant||Charges||Maximum Sentence||Court Date|
|Wade James Rutledge, 27, Seal Beach||Charged on Dec. 5, 2017, with the following felony counts:
|Seven years in state prison||Pre-trial hearing
Dec. 14, 2017
Department W-1, West Justice Center, Westminster
Circumstances of the Case
- On Nov. 3, 2017, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Rutledge is accused of approaching John Doe 1 and his boyfriend John Doe 2 in a parking lot near 10th Street and Ocean Avenue in Seal Beach.
- The defendant and his associates are accused of making derogatory remarks about the couple’s same-sex relationship and threatening them with violence if they did not leave.
- John Doe 1 called 911 and Rutledge is accused of grabbing the victim’s arm, forcing the phone out of his hand, disconnecting the 911 call, and walking back to his friends.
- Rutledge is accused of returning the phone but telling John Doe 1 to leave and not call the police.
- As the victims entered their car to leave, the defendant is accused of shoving John Doe 2 into the passenger seat and slamming the door on the victim’s arm while yelling at them to hurry and leave the area.
- Seal Beach Police Department (SBPD) investigated this case and identified Rutledge, who was located and arrested in a Seal Beach parking lot on Dec. 3, 2017.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact SBPD Detective Jeff Gibson at 562-799-4100 ext. 1109.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos, Special Prosecutions Unit
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17WF2679 / December 6, 2017