Skip to main content
Press Release

Diamond Bar Man Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison for Driving His Car Through Demonstrators at ‘Stop Asian Hate’ Rally

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – A Diamond Bar man was sentenced today to 12 months in federal prison for disrupting a “Stop Asian Hate” rally in March 2021 by running a red light and driving through a crowded crosswalk of peaceful demonstrators while shouting racial slurs and epithets.

Steve Lee Dominguez, 58, was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II.

Dominguez pleaded guilty in October 2023 to one count of bias-motivated interference with federally protected activities.

“This defendant’s hateful attack was designed to curtail the rights of peaceful demonstrators,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “While differences of opinion are part of a healthy democracy, we cannot allow people to commit acts of violence against those with whom they disagree. My office will continue to safeguard civil rights for all members of our community.”

“Mr. Dominguez attacked innocent civilians who were simply standing up for a righteous cause – to protect Asian members of our society from hateful attacks,” said Mehtab Syed, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Today’s sentence represents the FBI’s commitment to ensuring that Constitutionally-protected rights are not violated and those who deny them will be held accountable.” 

“We are deeply committed to protecting everyone’s constitutional rights including freedom of speech, and when actions turn violent and cross the line into criminal misconduct they will not be tolerated,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. “The Sheriff’s Department will continue to work with our justice partners to ensure our diverse communities within Los Angeles County are protected for exercising their civil rights without fear of being attacked or harassed.”

A “Stop Asian Hate” rally occurred on March 21, 2021, in Diamond Bar. The rally was to raise awareness about the increase in hate crimes and hate incidents against members of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community both locally and nationally – including the murders of six Asian American women five days earlier in Atlanta.

A group of rally participants assembled at the intersection of Diamond Bar Boulevard and Grand Avenue, carrying American flags and large signs in support of their cause. The demonstrators peacefully gathered and lawfully crossed the streets using the marked pedestrian crosswalk when they had the right of way.

During the rally, Dominguez was driving a black Honda Civic sedan and was stopped at a red light at the intersection. Dominguez yelled, “Go back to China!” and other racial slurs and profanities at the demonstrators. He then deliberately drove his car through the intersection’s crosswalk at the red light, made an illegal U-turn into oncoming traffic, and cut off the route of several rally participants lawfully crossing the street, primarily women and a young child.

One of the victims was an Asian woman carrying a sign that read, “Stop Asian Hate.” Another victim was a minor Black female rally participant who carried a sign that read, “End the Violence Against Asians.” Another person who was cut off in the crosswalk was a 9-year-old child, and Dominguez’s car narrowly missed her and other victims. No injuries were reported.

Dominguez then pulled his car over, got out of the car and continued to yell racial epithets – including the n-word – and threats at the demonstrators. He then called the police, identified himself as “John Doe” and falsely reported to police that the rally participants were blocking the street and he had to run a red light “because they were about to trample my car,” according to evidence presented at trial. He also requested that police “get some control out” at the intersection.

The FBI investigated this matter. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department initially responded to the scene and assisted in this matter.

Assistant United States Attorneys Frances S. Lewis of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section and Suria M. Bahadue of the Criminal Appeals Section prosecuted this case.

Any member of the public who has information related to hate crimes is encouraged to call the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565 or report tips online at


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated May 6, 2024

Civil Rights
Hate Crimes
Press Release Number: 24-098