Marine sentenced for hate crime at Iraqi restaurant
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A highly decorated active-duty Marine who slammed a chair into the neck and shoulder of an employee at an Iraqi restaurant in Portland has been sentenced to five years of probation and $21,000 in fines.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Damien Rodriguez was charged with a hate crime and assault that could have put him in prison for a mandatory five years and 10 months.
But Rodriguez’s defense attorney presented evidence that Rodriguez suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from witnessing soldiers die while in combat in Iraq.
Video shows Rodriguez picking up a chair and striking the employee in the neck and shoulders.
Rodriguez pleaded guilty to a hate crime -- second-degree intimidation -- and attempted assault in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
In court he offered his “deepest apologies” to the restaurant staff and owners.
Prosecutors said the employees involved support Rodriguez’s sentence.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com