Woman charged with hate crime after trying to run over African-American worker, while shouting racial slurs


PARADISE, CA – A 33-year-old Paradise woman appeared in Butte County Superior Court and was arraigned on DUI and assault charges, along with an additional allegation that the assault was a hate crime.

Paradise Police arrested Martina Marie Garcia, 33, on the afternoon of March 30, 2021 for driving under the influence of alcohol and assault with a deadly weapon (her vehicle) after making racially derogatory slurs as she drove her vehicle toward an African American traffic flagger.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Garcia was alleged to have driven her Ford Explorer SUV north through a traffic-controlled work zone in the 5500 block of Scottwood Road (a normal 25 mph zone) in Paradise at approximately 40-50 miles per hour while workers were present trying to clear trees.

The traffic control flagger was holding a “Slow” sign as Garcia sped through the work zone with a beer to her mouth and making an obscene gesture. Workers noted a passenger in the front seat, later identified as Garcia’s brother, made a similar gesture. Workers said Garcia returned two minutes later driving south in the same vehicle.

This time the flagger was holding a “stop” sign. Ramsey said workers saw Garcia accelerate to 50-60 mph and swerve her vehicle at the flagger, and yell racial epithets at him. The flagger had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck by Garcia. Ramsey said another work crewmember called 911 and followed Garcia until she stopped in front of her home and Paradise Police arrived.

Garcia was arrested for the DUI charges and the assault. Her brother, Antonia Burgos, 43, was arrested for being drunk in public and for violation of his parole for drinking. Ramsey said the hate crime allegation was added by his office after the police reports came in and it appeared the assault was motived by hate directed at a minority. The hate crime allegation adds up to three additional years of state prison time to a potential four years state prison time for the assault. Garcia was arraigned on the charges in Butte County Superior Court yesterday and is scheduled to be back in court with her attorney on April 7, at 8:30 a.m. for further arraignment/entry of plea. After she returned to the jail yesterday, jail records show she bailed out on $55,000 bail

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