Name-calling attacker pleads guilty in hate-crime case

A racist thug admitted in a San Francisco courtroom Tuesday to assaulting a mixed-raced couple near the Civic Center farmers market after calling their two young children a derogatory term, prosecutors said.

Hosea Matavao, 48, pleaded guilty to felony battery and admitted to the hate crime allegation, which will keep him in jail until Dec. 28, Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai said. Matavao has been in custody on $500,000 bail since the Oct. 19 crime.

Although the family was not seriously injured in the attack, the hate crime admission bumped the assault from a misdemeanor to a felony, leading to more jail time, Talai said.

Around 1:30 p.m. at Eighth and Market streets, the white husband and his black wife were pushing their two sons, 3 and nearly 2, in a double-baby stroller, Talai said.

Matavao called the children ““n—– babies” as they passed. After the wife responded to the comment, Matavao punched her multiple times in the face. The husband was also punched while trying to hold the thug back.

Matavoa then followed the wife as she tried to flee with her children. He kicked in the stroller’s tarp, which hit the 3-year-old’s head, prosecutors said.

The family is “satisfied” by the guilty plea, Talai said.

“They just felt the only appropriate plea would be one where he admitted to the hate crime allegation,” Talai said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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