PORTLAND, Ore. — A 35-year-old man accused of a racist attack on a woman has been sentenced to mental health counseling and two years of probation.

Joseph Leineweber spent a month in jail after the April attack in Portland and will serve no additional time as part of a plea agreement, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2vAj1By ).

Prosecutors placed great weight on a forensic psychologist’s report that Leineweber’s tirade was driven by mental illness, rather than deeply rooted racism, Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Davidson said.

Leineweber originally faced hate crime charges and a string of other counts. But he pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal mischief and menacing. He is accused of calling the woman a “dirty Mexican” and yelling “America deserves better” after jumping onto the hood of her car, authorities said.

The victim, 42-year-old Concepcion Salazar, said she remains deeply shaken by the attack. She has spoken publicly about it after being reluctant at first.

“What he did is not right, just because of the color of my skin,” Salazar said. “People need to know it’s not right. . I think we’re all the same. We’re all humans.”

Police estimated more than $1,000 in damage was done to Salazar’s car.

Salazar said Leineweber walked toward where she was sitting in her car and began taking pictures of her, and then he jumped on her car’s hood.

He is accused of then denting the car while going on a profanity-laced racist tirade.

Salazar said she dialed 911. She’s thankful that the driver of a truck stopped and intervened, telling Leineweber to stop. Leineweber eventually drove off before police arrived, she said.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.