Three members of a neo-Nazi Skinhead group, including a man sentenced to jail last summer after posting white supremacy stickers on a bank, were arrested after swerving their car toward several Latinos at intersections in Sepulveda, Los Angeles police said Thursday.
Police said the three were arrested about 10 p.m. Wednesday after a traffic officer saw the car veer toward pedestrians crossing Parthenia Street at Columbus Avenue.
Other people narrowly missed being struck by the car at nearby intersections and some were sprayed with fire extinguishers as the suspects yelled white-power slogans at them, police said. No one was struck, but there were some slight injuries from the fire-extinguisher spray, police said.
"These people were just crossing the street, going to the store, and these guys drove at them, coming within three feet," said Detective Michael Brandt. "They came pretty close."
Police said Robert Renney, 26, of Pendleton, Ore., and Peter McGuark, 18, were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and were being held at the Devonshire Division in lieu of $2,000 bail. A 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, a billy club, and detained by juvenile authorities.
McGuark and the juvenile live in the San Fernando Valley, Brandt said. He said he did not have their addresses.
The three suspects, police said, had shaved heads and wore black combat boots, an appearance often associated with the Skinhead movement among youths in many cities in the United States and England. Large factions of the group follow neo-Nazi philosophies and are believed responsible for several incidents of racial violence.
Brandt said the three arrested Wednesday were not believed to be members of the Reich Skins, a neo-Nazi faction that operated out of the Chatsworth area until its leader and several members were arrested last month in an investigation into hate crimes.
"They don't actually have a name, they're just Skinheads," Brandt said of the three suspects. "They claim they aren't associated with the Reich Skins."
Police said Renney was arrested July 18 by officers who had staked out an Independence Bank branch on Venture Boulevard in Studio City after the bank had reported that someone had spray-painted swastikas and offensive messages on the building several times. Renney was arrested after officers saw him post a sticker bearing a swastika and anti-black slogans on a wall of the bank.
Renney pleaded guilty to placing handbills on private property without the owner's consent and was sentenced Aug. 18 to 45 days in jail and three years' probation by Van Nuys Municipal Judge Robert L. Swasey. At that time, Swasey warned Renney that, if he so much as "spit on public or private property" while on probation, the judge would impose the maximum sentence of six months.
Police said as many as 10 Latinos were targets in Wednesday night's incident. Their names were not released. Brandt said the suspects apparently had been cruising the area of Parthenia and Columbus looking for victims. The suspects yelled "supreme white power" and other slogans at passers-by, police said.
A traffic officer at the intersection saw one of the car attacks and chased the attackers a short distance before they were arrested, police said.
Brandt said he is investigating the group in regard to other hate crimes and white-supremacy activities in the area.