One of three men charged in the alleged November beating of two Mexican nationals by members of a white supremacist skinhead group has pleaded guilty and will testify against the others, according to prosecutors.
Robert Allen, 39, Anthony Weston, 33, and Justin Meskan, 29, were arrested following a Nov. 10 attack on two undocumented immigrants outside the Nite Cap bar at 699 O’Farrell St. Prosecutors said witnesses heard the attackers yelling “white power,” and that one victim was punched and kicked in the face and knocked unconscious.
At a March news conference, then- District Attorney George Gascón called the brutal attack evidence of an increase in hate crimes and the presence of white supremacist groups in The City. He said the incident “should raise many concerns from the entire community.”
Last month, Weston pleaded guilty to felony assault with a hate crime allegation and agreed to testify at the trial of Allen and Meskan, which is scheduled to begin next week. In return, Weston is expected to be sentenced to just probation.
However, Weston’s father, Tony Weston, said in a phone interview that his son, a tattoo artist with a Chinese girlfriend, is not racist or a member of any white supremacist group.
“He doesn’t feel he was guilty of any of that,” Weston said. “But there was too much risk involved, with that kind of crime in San Francisco. Anthony was looking at 10 to 15 years in jail, or give evidence.”
Hate crime allegations, if found true, can add between one and three years to a sentence.
Allen’s attorney, Floyd Andrews, said the fight started when one of the alleged victims bumped into Weston outside the bar and Weston began throwing punches.
“The case is overcharged,” Andrews said. “It’s basically a drunken brawl in the Tenderloin that’s been blown out of proportion.” He said his client similarly has no connection to any white supremacist or skinhead groups.
Tony Weston said one of the alleged victims came out of the bar and hit his son in the head with a bottle during the fight.
“The Mexican that was hurt the most … Anthony pulled him out of the street because he didn’t want him to get hit by a car,” the father said. “None of these guys are part of any hate crime, but apparently that’s what the DA wants this to be all about.”
However, prosecutor Victor Hwang has said the suspects were linked to organized racist skinhead groups in San Francisco.
Investigators found what they claim was material associated with white supremacist groups at Weston’s apartment.
Weston’s father claims that actually belonged to his son’s roommate. Likewise, he added, a picture of Hitler found on Weston’s computer was actually “a caricature” that “would, more than likely, antagonize white supremacists.”
Beating case allegations:
- Two men, Mexican nationals, beaten at about midnight outside the Nite Cap bar on Nov. 10, 2010
- Three to five men wearing boots allegedly punched and kicked one victim in the street, knocking him unconscious.
- Witnesses allegedly heard the attackers yell, “White power.”
Source: District Attorney’s Office