CHP Officer Charged With Hate Crimes In Ventura

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) - A California Highway Patrol officer has been charged in Ventura County with five misdemeanors that are being treated as hate crimes.

The District Attorney's Office announced Friday that 34-year-old Seth Taylor is accused of making criminal threats and disturbing the peace in two off-duty altercations last year at bars in Ventura and Oxnard.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold declined to provide details as to why the incidents are being treated as hate crimes.

Robert Sandbach, Taylor's attorney, said he couldn't comment on the allegations but described Taylor as a former U.S. Marine who has had a "distinguished" eight-year career with the CHP.

CHP Officer Matthew Winter said that Taylor continues to work out of that agency's Ventura office.

Information from: Ventura County Star,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-08-02-08 0504EDT

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