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Hate crime is alleged in coffee shop incident

IN BRIEF Orange County / COSTA MESA

April 18, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A man was charged with a hate crime Tuesday for allegedly taunting and pulling a knife on a customer speaking Arabic at a Starbucks coffeehouse.

Anthony Tabarsi, 41, mocked three men who were speaking Arabic at the shop in the 2700 block of Harbor Boulevard, saying that all Arabs are terrorists and that he hates them, according to prosecutors.

After one of the men followed him outside, they said, Tabarsi lunged at him with a knife before fleeing from the parking lot.

Because of previous convictions, prosecutors said, Tabarsi could face life in prison if found guilty.

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