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California man convicted of racial assault on Black man

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California man was convicted Friday of attacking a Black man with a knife in a racially-motivated crime last July, federal authorities said.

Ole Hougen, 44, of Santa Cruz, was found guilty of trying to injure someone with a dangerous weapon because of their race and color, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Hougen confronted a 29-year-old man who was crossing a street in Santa Cruz, pulled a 9-inch knife and “swiped multiple times at the man’s head, chest, and stomach, while yelling racial slurs at him,” the attorney’s office said in a statement.

The man wasn’t seriously hurt, authorities said.

At the time, Hougen was on probation after pleading no contest to state charges that he committed a racially motived assault on a different Black man in 2018, authorities said.

Hougen could face up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.

“The FBI worked closely with the Santa Cruz Police Department to bring justice for this shocking, horrific attack,” Craig Fair, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco Field office, said in the statement. “Acts of hate and racism have no place here and will not be tolerated.”

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