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Camarillo man found guilty of hate crime against African American fisherman

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced Friday that, on Aug. 31, a jury found a Ventura County man guilty of a hate crime against an African American man.

On Sept. 25 of 2019, 50-year-old Vidal Fregoso of Camarillo allegedly approached 72-year-old Luther Swayne, an African American man, while the two were on an overnight offshore fishing charter that originated in Ventura County.

The DA said Fregoso used racial slurs and threatened to physically harm Swayne. A witness reported seeing Fregoso try to throw Swayne's fishing pole overboard.

The boat's crew had to intervene and separate the two men before the boat returned to the dock.

Several days later, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office investigated the incident and ultimately arrested Fregoso.

In addition to hate crime, Fregoso was found guilty of additional charges including attempted vandalism and attempted theft.

Fregoso will be sentenced on Oct. 5, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 44 of the Ventura County Superior Court.

Ventura County

Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor at KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.

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