Santa Cruz police confront Ole Hougen last year.
Santa Cruz police confront Ole Hougen last year. He was convicted of a hate crime on Friday, April 9.
(Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills via Twitter)
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Santa Cruz man convicted of hate crime for knife attack in Downtown crosswalk last summer

Ole Hansen Hougen faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years when federal Judge Edward J. Davila is set to sentence him on July 26.

A federal jury convicted a Santa Cruz man of a hate crime on Friday for attacking a Black man with a knife in a Downtown crosswalk last year, the U.S attorney’s office and Santa Cruz police announced.

Ole Hansen Hougen was found guilty of “willfully attempting to cause bodily injury by using a dangerous weapon because of a person’s actual or perceived race and color.”

Hougen, then 44, confronted a 29-year-old black man who was in a crosswalk at San Lorenzo Boulevard and Broadway last July, court records show. While yelling racial slurs at the man, he slashed at his head, chest, and stomach multiple times with a 9-inch-long knife, prosecutors said.

The victim took a defensive position and wasn’t seriously hurt. Three witnesses saw the attack, court records show.

At the time, Hougen was on probation for state of California convictions involving a racially motivated assault on a different Black man in 2018.

The criminal complaint against him also described two other racially motivated assaults against Black men that prosecutors said Hougen commtted in 2014 and 2018.

He faces a prison sentence of as much as 10 years when federal Judge Edward J. Davila is set to sentence him on July 26.

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