FROM: Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney CONTACT PERSON:
Erin West, Deputy District Attorney
Burglary/Assault/Theft Unit (408) 792-2976 For Immediate Release on July 2, 2002 Hate Crime Conviction Angel Ann Coley was convicted by a jury of four crimes:
- Hate Crime Which Results in Injury (PC 422.7(a), a felony);
- Hit and Run Causing Property Damage (VC 20002(a), a misdemeanor);
- Threats to Commit a Crime Resulting in Death or Great Bodily Injury (PC 422, a felony);
- Battery (PC 242-243(a), a misdemeanor).
On November 28, 2001, Ms. Coley was stopped at a red light behind the car of Mohammed Aram on First Street at Julian, in San Jose. Although the light was red, she honked at him to proceed into the intersection and turn right. When he did not, she continued honking and gave him her middle finger. She then plowed her car into his and physically bulldozed him into the intersection and onto Julian. Mr. Aram stopped his car on Julian and Ms. Coley approached, yelling, "Why don’t you go back to your own country?" She spit in his face, punched him repeatedly in the face, and kicked his car. Ms. Coley called him a "foreigner" and a "towel head," and threatened to go back to her car and get a gun and kill him. Fearing for his life, Mr. Aram rushed back to Ms. Coley’s car and grabbed her keys, locking her out. Ms. Coley continued to beat Mr. Aram, who defended himself only by grabbing her keys. Ms. Coley bit Mr. Aram’s hand, breaking the skin, scratched his hands and his chest, drawing blood, and kicked him twice in the groin, doubling him over. Ultimately, a third party arrived on the scene and encouraged Mr. Aram to release the keys to Ms. Coley so that she would stop beating Mr. Aram. Mr. Aram did so, and Ms. Coley sped off, leaving no information. Police later tracked her down based on her license plate number. Ms. Coley faces 3 years, 8 months in state prison. ###