Los Gatos, Redwood City Men Charged in Separate Hate Crime Assaults

Two men have been charged with hate crimes in Santa Clara County for separate assaults against an Asian American woman walking her dog in Los Gatos and a 93-year-old Persian American in San Jose.

According to a press release today by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, Richard Hanford, 62, of Los Gatos, told an Asian American woman: “This is America, (expletive deleted)” before striking her on a sidewalk in Los Gatos. David Greenburg, 56, of Redwood City, spit at an elderly San Jose Persian American man and told him: “Go back to your (expletive deleted) country.”

Both are charged with misdemeanor hate crime charges. Hanford, who is to be arraigned Nov. 16, faces an additional battery charge, and Greenburg faces an additional assault charge when he is arraigned Dec. 6. Each faces possible incarceration for these offenses, prosecutors said.

“Our community deeply values diversity, respects it, seeks it,” said District Attorney Jeff Rosen. “Intolerance is not an American ideal. In these cases, it is a crime.”

The DA’s office said that around 11:45am on Oct. 5, the 6-feet-2-inch, 200-pound Hanford told the 5-feet-tall, 105-pound Asian American woman walking her dog on a University Avenue sidewalk in Los Gatos to move out of his way. When she told him he could move around her, he told her, “This is America,” and struck her twice in the face, according to the prosecutor’s press release.

At 2:25pm on Aug. 25, prosecutors said that Greenburg, a salesman, knocked on the South San Jose front door of an elderly Persian man who spoke limited English. Unable to understand what the defendant wanted, the victim said: "No English, my son will call you back."

Prosecutors said the defendant kicked the bottom screen door that the victim was standing behind and spat towards the victim. The salesman then said, according to the press release: "Go back to your (expletive deleted) country." Greenburg is alleged to have spat again in the victim's direction.

The victim's son heard this exchange and quickly walked to the front door to confront the defendant. Instead of a physical confrontation, the son decided to call the police.

“If you are the victim of a hate crime or witness one, please call your local law enforcement agency,” the DA’s office advised. Victims also can email Santa Clara County Hate Crime Prosecutor Erin West at [email protected].



  1. Striking someone obviously merits prosecution for battery. How does the Los Gatos incident qualify as a hate crime? Could the dog owner be charged with a hate crime enhancement for blocking the sidewalk by with her dog?

  2. The DA fancies himself a mind-reader and is engaging in political persecutions…pretty simple.

    That coupled with statutes enacting penalties for WrongThink is the reason for the fake charges.

  3. What he obviously meant by his comment, which any actual real American can understand immediately, is that in America, it is expected, part of our “social contract” that people have the courtesy to not block the sidewalk . And that by making su ch a comment, we are trying to remind someone who is breaking our conventions that they are NOT “back home” in their own culture, but in ours, probably as guests (and often as uninvited ones, by the way). It is a way of telling someone they are being rude and exhibiting poor citizenship unbecoming of an American (the term “citizenship” refers to social conduct not to a document or “status” – as used in “Sally showed good citizenship this year. She is a pleasure to have in class.”

    This is necessary because our “common courtesies” are cultural and specific to us, and as a result often are lacking in many other cultures. Americans have always been very respectful of public shared spaces, and desiring of high standards for behavior in public spaces and our conventions reflect that cultural sensibility. We have a long history of laws, regulations, and social norms that all support these notions.

  4. Maybe the Chinese Communist Party is spreading ‘Asian Hate’ ?

    There is no excuse for striking or assaulting someone for being rude, but just because a victim meets some pre-conceived ‘class status’ does not mean a presumption of a ‘Hate Crime.’
    Crime is Crime and the penalties should be the same for all.

    Government-Issued Guidelines Warn Chinese Tourists Not to Spit, Shout Or Overeat at Buffets (Smithsonian Magazine, Oct2013)

    “Chinese tourists’ tendency to spit, to speak loudly indoors, and to have no concept of how to form or respect a line. ..”

    China’s National Tourism Administration issued a 64-page pamphlet on how to behave abroad, complete with cartoon illustrated dos & don’ts.
    Some suggestions include:

    ….Don’t relieve yourself in public.
    ….Don’t aggressively ask locals for pictures with you.
    ….Don’t assault any animals.
    ….Don’t shout in public.
    ….Don’t show your bare chest in public.
    ….Don’t hoard the public facilities.
    ….Flush the toilet after use.
    ….At a buffet, please don’t take everything in one go – they will be refilled.

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