Brother of slain Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt charged with attacking man in California

City attorney in San Diego calls actions ‘reprehensible’ ahead of trial for alleged hate crimes

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 27 April 2022 16:45

Related video: Capitol officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt reveals identity in first interview

Leer en Español

The brother of dead Capitol rioter Ashley Babbitt has been charged with bribery and vandalism in connection with an attack on a man who was assisting his disabled friend.

Roger Stefan Witthoeft Jr, who awaits trial in a separate case, allegedly committed the act on 13 January in a neighbourhood of San Diego, California.

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said in an announcement that Mr Witthoeft, 33, is due to be arraigned in San Diego Superior Court on 6 May in connection with the attack,

He “confronted a man on Muir Avenue in Ocean Beach who was helping a disabled friend out of a car”, the attorney’s office said.

Mr Witthoeft then “became angry” about the pair blocking his path on the sidewalk and stood in their way before allegedly pushing a male victim to the ground.

“Witthoeft blocked the victim as he tried to walk around the car. When the victim tried to push past Witthoeft, Witthoeft struck him, knocking him to the ground” said the statement.

The attorney’s office said “He then stomped on the victim’s phone and broke it,” with the incident caught on a nearby security camera.

Mr Witthoeft has already been accused of attacking another man in the city in September 2021, for which he is facing battery and hate crime charges.

The San Diego’s Attorney Office said the Ocean Beach victim alerted authorities to the encounter “after reading news coverage of Witthoeft’s hate crime case in which he battered and verbally abused an San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) worker using racial epithets.”

The brother of Babbitt, the Capitol rioter who was killed while storming a hallway in the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, had allegedly become “enraged” at the SDG&E worker’s van blocking an intersection in Point Loma Heights before attacking a man.

He then “hurled racial slurs and struck” the victim, who according to the attorney’s office was told: “Why don’t you talk in English you f***ing immigrant?” and “Go back to your country you f***ing immigrant.”

“Witnesses told police that Witthoeft urged the worker to fight him, shoved the worker, and swung at the worker, knocking off his hardhat,” a statement said following the encounter.

The Times of San Diego reported on Wednesday that Mr Witthoeft is due to go trial in June on charges of battery with a hate crime enhancement for the September 2021 incident. He has pleaded not guilty.

“Mr Witthoeft’s disdain for those who are different from him because of their nationality or disability is reprehensible,” City Attorney Mara W Elliott said.

“Our community members, visitors, and those who work in our neighbourhoods have the right to be free from acts of violence. This Office will fight hard to hold Mr Witthoeft accountable.”

It was not clear if he had a lawyer.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in