Crime

SLO man charged with hate crimes after police say he threatened to shoot minorities

Hate crimes carry ‘different harm’ than other crimes

Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, talks generally about hate crime laws. What makes these crimes unique is that they are directed at whole groups of people, she said.
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Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, talks generally about hate crime laws. What makes these crimes unique is that they are directed at whole groups of people, she said.

A San Luis Obispo man is charged with committing hate crimes after he allegedly sent Hallmark cards threatening to shoot ethnic minorities in his neighborhood.

Police carrying out a search warrant at the home of 62-year-old Richard Vincent Orcutt later found a large cache of weapons — including tactical assault rifles — and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

On Friday, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Orcutt alleging 10 felonies, including seven charges of making criminal threats, one charge of attempting to make a criminal threat, and two counts of possessing an “assault weapon,” namely a SGM Stag Arms Stag 15 rifle.

Four of the criminal threats charges carry sentencing enhancements alleging the offenses are hate crimes.

A District Attorney’s Office news release states that Orcutt faces nearly 15 years in state prison if convicted of all charges.

Orcutt, who is out of County Jail after posting $500,000 bail, entered no plea at his arraignment Monday, according to court records. A second arraignment is scheduled for July 29.

His attorney, Guy Galambos, could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

Orcutt is accused of sending letters threatening to shoot ethnic minorities moving into his neighborhood, a news release from the San Luis Obispo Police Department released June 30 said.

Police said Orcutt sent Hallmark cards with an American flag on the front to property management companies and property owners near the 1300 block of Cavalier Lane. The cards did not have a return name or address, the news release said.

He was taken to the San Luis Obispo County Jail and was released later that afternoon when he posted bail, according to the police department.

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Firearms allegedly seized from the home of 62-year-old Richard Vincent Orcutt on June 30. San Luis Obispo Police Department

When authorities searched his home, they found and seized numerous handguns, rifles and shotguns, as well as “thousands of rounds” of ammunition, the Police Department said.

A District Attorney’s Office spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the charges and what possible sentence Orcutt faces if convicted of all charges.

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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.
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