SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man once hailed as a selfless hero by a Northern California city for saving a man’s life during a fire as a child now finds himself in a much harsher set of circumstances; Accused of targeting Asian women leaving shopping centers and robbing them almost a decade later.
County prosecutors filed a hate crime enhancement last month against Latravion McCockran, 20, in a felony robbery case filed in June. Judge Carlton Davis has since chosen to revoke bail for the man, accused of acting as the driver in four Sacramento-area robberies fueled by bias against Asian people, according to court records. An unidentified juvenile has been charged with directly committing the robberies.
“It is obvious that it is more than just targeting victims that are present. It’s a concerted effort to target Asian victims for bias purposes,” Deputy District Attorney Casey Newton said in court, citing text messages between the juvenile offender and McCockran where they used anti-Asian slurs in planning the robberies.
Prosecutors say video shows a car registered to McCockran’s girlfriend lurking in the parking lot of a business as the juvenile offender hops out and robs the woman at gunpoint. In the second robbery, McCockran allegedly followed a woman home after she finished her shopping for the day as his co-conspirator assaulted the woman in her garage.
Cell phone evidence has linked McCockran to the area of the robberies when they happened, according to Newton.
The third robbery involves a woman who wouldn’t give up her valuables. As she clutched at her purse, it got caught in the door of the car McCockran was allegedly making a getaway in. The woman was dragged through a parking lot on video. In the fourth and final robbery, the juvenile defendant yanks a purse off a woman’s arm and pushes her into her car, fleeing the scene with her driver’s license, flip phone, and other valuable items.
A day after one of the robberies, McCockran was seen on surveillance video at a pawn shop trying to pawn some of the items he stole. Following a conversation with McCockran himself in court, Judge Davis revoked his bail without prejudice – meaning his attorney has an opportunity to come back with new evidence.
“There is nothing linking me to this. Nobody is saying that they seen me there,” McCockran pleaded to the judge. “Everything been being pinned against me.”
While Davis left the issue open, he sent a strong message to McCockran that, if guilty, his conduct will not be tolerated.
“Based on what Mr. Newton has told me, the evidence seems to indicate that you were the driver and the participant of four robberies of defenseless women where one was dragged, one a gun was put in her face, and one followed home,” Davis said.
Research published in January by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism says hate crimes against Asian people increased 339 percent across the nation last year, with spikes occurring in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.