Police: Nazi items found in suspects' homes
Conviction in hate crime could mean nine or more years in prison
New evidence labeled "Nazi paraphernalia" was reportedly found in the Central Valley homes of Jonathan Rhodes and Joseph Krueger, indicating that Mountain View's recent alleged hate crime "wasn't a spur-of-the moment lapse in judgment," said supervising district attorney Jay Boyarsky.
Mountain View police detectives Cary Sueh and Jessica Serb went to the suspects' homes in Ceres, a small town outside Modesto, with a search warrant to find the items, which included numerous drawings of swastikas, white power slogans and racial epithets.
The two young men are being held on $1 million bail for beating a black man in downtown Mountain View in an alleged hate crime, described this way from a compilation of eyewitness accounts by police Detective Jessica Serb:
"At one point during the humiliating attack, Rhodes grabbed the victim by his head and pulled his head back in order to expose the victim's neck to Krueger. Krueger had the knife over the victim's head and the victim pleaded, 'Please don't stab me, please.'"
New evidence allegedly found in Krueger's home included a magazine with swastikas and the words "I hate nigas," scribbled on it. A plastic container had graffiti and a large swastika. A school discipline report was found for someone named Jeremy Goodman that said Goodman had written "white pride" in a schoolbook along with sexual harassment comments.
Krueger's mother, Cathy Krueger, was listed as Goodman's parent in the discipline report, according to police.
In Rhodes' home, a notebook was found with the words "Silence is f---ing golden, nigger," according to police. A CD with what may be white supremacist-inspired music, and a white T-shirt with three iron crosses and "USA" emblazoned across the front, were also found. (The Nazis used the iron cross as a medal of honor.) A cigarette case with the iron cross was also found, as was a notebook with the Nazi SS lightning bolts drawn inside, police reported.
Modesto is described by some law enforcement groups as a gathering place for fringe racists in the Central Valley region. The anti-immigration group Save Our State held a rally in Modesto in June. The group has been called a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and is believed to be supported by neo Nazis. Modesto is also known as the headquarters for the American Klan Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
In police reports, the victim of the crime said that the two suspects called out a gang name during the incident. However, Boyarsky and Serb say no evidence of gang activity has been found.
The suspects face up to nine years in prison and have been charged with false imprisonment, criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapon and a hate crime enhancement. If a gang enhancement is added, it could mean an additional 10 years.
The suspects' attorneys have not commented on the case.
E-mail Daniel DeBolt at firstname.lastname@example.org