Suspect charged with assault for allegedly punching ‘free speech’ rally organizer

A suspect arrested for allegedly punching the organizer of a “free speech” rally in San Francisco will face an assault...

A suspect arrested for allegedly punching the organizer of a “free speech” rally in San Francisco will face an assault charge, prosecutors decided Tuesday.

Adroa Anderson, 35, was arrested Sunday in Oakland in connection with an attack a day earlier that knocked out the two front teeth of rally organizer Philip Anderson, 25.

Videos from the rally showed protesters shoving police barricades and throwing objects at right-wing demonstrators during the event.

The San Francisco Police Department initially booked Adroa Anderson on suspicion of mayhem with a hate crime enhancement.

Police explained the rationale for the hate crime enhancement in a statement Tuesday.

“Video and audio evidence indicate that a racial obscenity, consistent with the victim’s ethnicity, was said by the suspect during the assault,” police said.

A person can be heard shouting the N-word in video of the punch.

However, the District Attorney’s Office is not planning to file a hate crime enhancement against the suspect.

Under California law, a hate crime is defined as a criminal act committed because of the disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation of the victim.

Alex Bastian, a spokesperson for District Attorney Chesa Boudin, said the crime in this case “does not appear to have been committed because of” one of those protected characteristics.

Adroa Anderson, a resident of Watsonville, does not currently appear to be in custody, jail records show.

Attempts to locate an attorney for Adroa Anderson for comment were not immediately successful.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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