DENVER — A jury convicted a man of two counts of bias-motivated crimes after he grabbed a man from behind and repeatedly kicked him in the head, Denver prosecutors said in a release on Friday.
Ryan Austin Lee, 43 has a history of racial intimidation, prosecutors said. He was also found guilty of two counts of assault in the third degree.
While on a deferred judgment from a 2017 case, Lee assaulted two people in March 2018, according to prosecutors.
The victims were in a vehicle in front of a home on West Mosier Place when Lee approached the vehicle, reached through a window and punched the passenger in the face, according to a probable cause statement from Denver Police.
The driver and passenger got out of the vehicle and walked toward the home, and, as they did, Lee grabbed the passenger by the back of his collar, threw him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head, the statement says. During the attack, Lee yelled racial slurs and "get back to Mexico".
The victim said he used his right arm to protect his head and responding officers noted that his arm was swollen and bruised. The officer also noted that the victim, "appeared to be in fear of his life" and stated that Lee had previously threatened him with "boards and hammers."
One year earlier, in March 2017, Lee wielded a hammer while threatening and chasing a mixed-race couple and their seven-year-old son through a park, according to prosecutors.
According to the probable cause statement from Denver Police, officers responded to Garfield Lake Park at 1170 Lowell Blvd. for a report of threats. When officers arrived, the victim pointed out Lee and said he "came at him with a hammer," the report says.
The victim also stated that Lee threw something at his son and started screaming at his son using "racial words."
Lee went to his home, the report says, and returned to the park with a hammer and began chasing the family. They got into the truck and Lee hit their vehicle windshield with his fist and the hammer, the report says.
Because Lee was convicted in the 2018 case, the deferred judgment related to the 2017 case will be revoked and will result in a conviction of menacing.
Sentencing is set for May 3. Lee faces a maximum sentence of 15 years: three years for the first case and six years for each victim in the second case.
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