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California Woman Sentenced for Hate Crime Against Chauffeur

LCT Staff
Posted on July 23, 2002

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A woman convicted of a hate crime in which she attacked a Middle Eastern limousine operator was sentenced on Friday to nine months in the Santa Clara County (Calif.) jail. The woman was also ordered to pay restitution to the limousine operator, 31-year-old Mohamed Aram.

At her trial, Angel Ann Coley, 28, said Aram's limousine had hit her car and that Aram would not show her his identification. Her story, however, conflicted with evidence and the testimony of witnesses, according to prosecutor Erin West.

The sentence was handed down by Superior Court judge Richard Loftus three weeks after the jury found Coley guilty of a hate crime resulting in injury, making threats to commit death or injury, hit-and-run, and battery.

The incident occurred one November afternoon, according to police, when Coley pulled up in her car behind Aram's limousine, a 2000 Lincoln Town Car, and started a tirade when Aram would not get out of her way at a red light. She honked and motioned Aram to move. When he did not move, she made an obscene gesture and rammed her car into his vehicle, pushing the limousine into the intersection.

Witnesses reported that Coley got out of the car and confronted Aram, spitting in his face, biting his hand, kicking him in the groin twice and punching him. She shouted racial slurs at Aram, who moved from Egypt six years ago.

Aram, who is 6-foot-2, did not fight back. He asked others to call the police. At one point he tossed his cell phone to a passerby and asked him to call 911. The passerby ran away with Aram's phone instead.

Aram was treated for the scratches and bites from the attack and also received a tetanus shot. "This guy could not have had a worse day," West said.

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