Wednesday, July 18, 2018

North Idaho man hurls racial slurs, profanity at teenagers getting ice cream at McDonald's

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 9:40 AM

A Hayden, Idaho, man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime stemming from an incident at a McDonald's in Coeur d'Alene on July 12. Richard Sovenski, 52, was booked into Kootenai County jail Tuesday on one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of felony malicious harassment, Idaho's hate crime statute, according to Coeur d'Alene Police Capt. David Hagar.

A group of high schoolers from a Spokane youth group traveled to Coeur d'Alene last Thursday to hear a guest preacher. Afterward, the group's leader, Jose Ceniceros, took them out for ice cream at McDonald's.

As the group was getting ready to leave Sovenski started hurling racial slurs and profanity at them, Ceniceros says. A woman, who was standing with Sovenski, later told police that the kids were "being rude, dancing and running around causing a disturbance."

Ceniceros disputes this, and says as they approached the door to leave Sovenski sucker punched Ceniceros and threw him to the ground. Ceniceros began recording Sovenski with his cell phone once they were outside and has shared the video with the Inlander.

In the video, a man identified as Sovenski yells at Ceniceros and the high schoolers: "Why don't you get a f—kin' job," and says, "I will f—k you up in a f—kin' heartbeat you f—kin' little faggot. Oh you f—k you, you f—kin' half breed."

Sovenski and another man, who had been trying to hold Sovenski back from the teenagers, start to walk back into the restaurant. But before they leave, the other man grabs his genitals and Sovenski gets a final word in: "Get the f—k out of Idaho," he says. "F—k you, you f—kin' half breeds."

By the time Coeur d'Alene Police arrived, Sovenski had already left and he was not arrested until five days after the incident.

"The kids couldn't really believe it," Ceniceros says of Sovenski's behavior. "Five minutes earlier we were in church."

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Mitch Ryals

Mitch covers cops, crime and courts for the Inlander. He moved to Spokane in 2015 from his hometown of St. Louis, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri. He likes bikes, beer and baseball. And coffee. He dislikes lemon candy, close-mindedness and liars. And temperatures below 40 degrees.