OCEAN BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — Two years after a violent attack in Ocean Beach, there is new legal action being taken against the attacker.
Our local beaches are typically a place for people to hang out and enjoy the waves.
For Kobe La and his girlfriend Kristina Castillo, the beaches are no longer a place of comfort.
“It was such a great place to safely gather,” Castillo said. “We haven’t gone since, not in San Diego.”
The attack happened on June 15, 2021. La and Castillo said they were excited to be with their friends again during the time when mask restrictions started to relax during the pandemic.
“We'd already been there for five hours and some guy shows up and claiming that he had this spot and… we don't belong here and we need to leave,” La said.
La said they could share the spot, but the man refused and returned to Ocean Beach with other people after the sun went down. La said one of them punched his good friend.
“[La] got punched with his mouth open,” Castillo said, as she described what happened after La stepped in.
In cell phone video taken during the fight, a lot of cursing could be heard and one woman—not a part of La’s group—call one of his friends, “You yellow b----.”
“One of the girls is actually insulting my friend and calls him a yellow b----. My friend is Asian, so the stereotype is there,” La said.
He suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured jaw. “I had screws driven into my jaw and my teeth were rubber banded shut,” La said. “I lost 20 pounds.”
San Diego police arrested Gabriel Douglas Ramos in connection with the attack. La filed a civil lawsuit against him for assault, battery, negligence and violence based on race and national origin.
According to court documents, Ramos faced an assault charge. His lawyer, Mark Simpliciano, said there were no hate crime enhancements in the criminal case.
“He should be held accountable for what he did any other individuals who were a part of the incident should also be accountable,” Simpliciano. “That’s the hope with the civic complaint aspect is to get more information and see who else is liable.”
Ramos’ defense attorney had no comment.
La said his physical health is mostly healed, but he is still reminded constantly of that night. “I do still have numbness in my bottom lip, even though the surgery was two years ago.”
His emotional journey has been tough. “Even now, I still feel like I need to look over my shoulder,” La said.
“I think being told you don't belong here, this is our beach, and being beaten up for it is something that should not happen to anyone,” Simpliciano said.
Ramos’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for later this week.