Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not guilty plea in alleged hateful fruit tossing

A Pacifica woman accused of hurling produce along with insults at a gay couple from a van last month pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery and hate crime charges Friday.

She stands trial this summer.

Tiffany Adler, 20, appeared in court Friday for the first time since being arrested on two misdemeanor counts of each crime. She pleaded not guilty and asked the court to appoint an attorney. She and her lawyer return to court July 2 for jury trial and she remains free from custody on her own recognizance.

On March 4, Adler reportedly lobbed apples and asparagus at a gay couple walking on the 500 block of Esplanade Drive. The van in which she was riding then turned around and Adler yelled “faggot” at the men, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Pacifica police reported finding asparagus in Adler’s purse at the time of arrest.

Adler reportedly said the couple frequented the grocery store at which she works. She told police she was unaware the victims were gay and her actions were based on a prior conflict rather than discrimination.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe sees it differently.

“We definitely think this is a hate crime,” he said. “This one is pretty offensive.”

If convicted, Adler faces possible jail time and probation.

Special Thanks to San Mateo Journal.

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