California man charged with hate crime after driving into Black crowd

Dennis Wyman, 42, allegedly struck an off-duty security guard after yelling racial insults at a group in a hotel parking lot.

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By Tim Stelloh

A Southern California man was charged Monday with assault and committing a hate crime after allegedly driving his car into a crowd of Black people last month, authorities said Monday.

Dennis Wyman, 42, of Redondo Beach, struck a 50-year-old off-duty security guard after yelling racial insults at the group shortly before midnight on June 29, a Torrance Police Department spokeswoman said in a statement.

The crowd was in a hotel parking lot in the Los Angeles County city, police said. There were no details about why the group had gathered or how many people joined.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said the wounded guard was the father of man in the crowd and that he had come to the hotel parking lot to aid the group.

The guard fired several rounds at the car before he was hit, police said. The man was injured and taken to a hospital, though authorities didn’t say how badly he was hurt.

Wyman, who is white, then allegedly fled, police said. Additional details about the confrontation weren't immediately available.

Wyman was charged with assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injuries, hit and run and hate crimes, the district attorney’s office said.

Wyman was being held on $115,000 bail, the statement said. Court records didn’t list a lawyer for him.