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California Man Faces Hate Crime Charge in Alleged Assault of Neighbor

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday December 28, 2021

A San Diego area man, whom reports say is a supporter of a neo-Nazi group, has been charged after allegedly obstructing his neighbor's driveway with his car and then striking the man in the face while hurling anti-LGBTQ+ invective.

The Algemeiner reported that Robert Wilson, 40, was charged in the assault case "just one week after he was cited for unfurling an antisemitic banner at an interstate overpass" on Dec. 18, in the company of supporters of a neo-Nazi group known as the "Goyim Defense League."

"Wilson is alleged to have used his vehicle to block his neighbor's driveway while screaming anti-gay slurs at his victim," The Algemeiner said of the alleged assault. "Wilson then approached his neighbor's car and reached inside the window, striking his victim in the face."

Area newspaper the San Diego Union Tribune reported that "Wilson pleaded not guilty in San Diego Superior Court to the battery charge and hate crime allegation in connection with the Nov. 10 attack on his neighbor, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office."

"If convicted, he faces up to three years and six months in prison," the Union Tribune added.

"Prosecutors charged Wilson with felony battery because they say he committed the crime specifically because of the victim's protected status — in this case, his sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation," the newspaper went on to say.

Wilson's alleged role in hanging the anti-Semitic banner from the freeway overpass constitutes a "municipal code violation," the Union-Tribune said, adding that the "District Attorney's Office said it is including that municipal code violation with the battery charge and hate-crime allegation against Wilson."

The banner read "Jewish Supremacy Censors Speech About Jewish Supremacy," the article noted. "During the last year, the 'GDL' — a neo-Nazi group that pushes Holocaust denial, false accusations that Jews are responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, and similar antisemitic conspiracy theories — has mounted several publicity stunts in cities across the US," the account continued.

"The group was in overdrive during the week leading up to the Christmas vacation, targeting private homes in at least eight states with virulently antisemitic fliers claiming that 'every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.'"

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.