Marine Sentenced for Hate Crime at Iraqi Restaurant

Damien Rodriguez. Courtesy of Multnomah County Jail
Damien Rodriguez. Courtesy of Multnomah County Jail

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A highly decorated active-duty Marine who slammed a chair into the neck and shoulder of an employee at an Iraqi restaurant in Portland has been sentenced to five years of probation and $21,000 in fines.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Damien Rodriguez was charged with a hate crime and assault that could have put him in prison for a mandatory five years and 10 months.

But Rodriguez's defense attorney presented evidence that Rodriguez suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from witnessing soldiers die while in combat in Iraq.

Video shows Rodriguez picking up a chair and striking the employee in the neck and shoulders.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to a hate crime -- second-degree intimidation -- and attempted assault in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

In court he offered his "deepest apologies" to the restaurant staff and owners.

Prosecutors said the employees involved support Rodriguez's sentence.


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