By Harry Harris and Kristin J. Bender Oakland Tribune
OAKLAND -- Three Occupy Oakland protesters suspected of stealing an Oakland woman's wallet and making offensive remarks about her perceived sexuality were charged Friday with robbery and committing a hate crime, both felonies, authorities said.
Michael Davis, 32, Nneka Crawford, 23, and Randolph Wilkins, 24, all of Oakland, were charged with the felonies by Assistant District Attorney Paul Hora. All remain jailed at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. Bail for Crawford and Wilkins is $105,000 and Davis is being held on $100,000 bail.
Other possible suspects are being sought by police, said Sgt. Randy Wingate, the lead investigator.
Among the evidence against the three, besides the 42-year-old victim identifying them, is a video of the confrontation taken by a fellow Occupy Oakland protester.
"In the department we have zero tolerance for hate crimes," Wingate said.
A hate crime is any criminal act or attempted criminal act directed against someone based on the person's actual or perceived race, nationality or religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender, police said.
The confrontation happened about 6 p.m. Feb. 22 in the 4000 block of Piedmont Avenue. Police said that some Occupy Oakland protesters were demonstrating against a Wells Fargo Bank branch there when a woman across the street expressed her opinion about the Occupy movement and the way it's being handled, Wingate said.
Wingate said a handful of protesters quickly surrounded her and prevented from leaving the area. Her wallet was taken from her purse, and protesters yanked a Barack Obama pin from her clothing, police said.
Wingate said she was also verbally abused, including making derogatory remarks about her perceived sexuality. A protester punched the woman, and she was bruised and scratched in the altercation. Hora charged the three with a felony robbery and a felony hate crime because the woman was injured in addition to being verbally insulted.
One of the protesters shot a video of the altercation, which police viewed on the Internet. It has since been removed. Davis was arrested Wednesday and was arraigned on Friday. Crawford and Wilkins were arrested Thursday during a rally in downtown Oakland and are scheduled to be in court on Monday for an arraignment.