The half-brother of Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was fatally shot during the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, has been accused of attacking and hurling racial slurs at a utility worker in California.
Roger Stefan Witthoeft Jr., 33, faces misdemeanor charges of battery with a hate crime enhancement and violating the victim’s constitutional rights by threat of force, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
He pleaded not guilty at his March 1 arraignment in San Diego Superior Court.
Witthoeft allegedly shoved and tried to strike a San Diego Gas & Electric traffic controller in September while shouting “a number of racial slurs” at the Latino man — telling him to “Go back to your country you f—- immigrant,” according to the City Attorney’s Office.
The suspect is accused of asking the victim, whom he allegedly challenged to a fight, “Why don’t you talk in English you f— immigrant?”
He also allegedly shoved the man, swung at him and knocked off his hard hat, according to the report.
Witthoeft is the brother of Babbitt, 36, the Air Force veteran was shot by a cop as she tried to enter the Speaker’s Lobby on Jan. 6, 2021, as a mob of Trump supporters were storming the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the results of the 2020 presidential election.
US Capitol Police officer Lt. Michael Byrd was cleared of any wrongdoing in Babbitt’s death in an internal use-of-force probe.
The incident involving her brother took place Sept. 14 when an SDG&E repair crew had set up a roadblock that he happened upon, prosecutors told the newspaper.
When the traffic controller told Witthoeft about the road closure, he got out of his vehicle and “verbally and physically confronted the worker,” prosecutors said.
Witthoeft has told The New York Times that he and other family members worked with Babbitt at Fowler’s Pool Service & Supply Inc., which she and her husband, Aaron, owned.
Aaron told FOX 5 on Wednesday that Witthoeft is her half-brother and that the two had been estranged for several months prior to her death.