A man who was charged with a hate crime after allegedly shoving a restaurant employee in Crystal City and refusing to pay for his meal pled guilty to a lesser offense.
In May 2021, Jordon Bevan left a local restaurant without paying, pushed an employee and used anti-Asian slurs, the Arlington County Police Department alleged at the time.
Bevan was charged with a hate crime, which is a felony, along with the misdemeanors of resisting arrest, defrauding an innkeeper and petit larceny. The nature of the slurs he is alleged to have used is unclear and court documents reviewed by ARLnow only detail Bevan using the term “Asians.”
The hate crime charge was later amended, however, to the misdemeanor assault and battery, according to court records. Bevan pled guilty to that in September 2021 and was not prosecuted for the other crimes.
After his May arrest, Bevan was discharged to reside in Ohio with his mother and seek mental health treatment, including psychiatric visits and medication, according to court records.
“There was a strong mental health component to this case, which included a resolution requiring mental health treatment, along with restitution and no contact provisions, all pursuant to a plea agreement wherein other charges were dismissed,” Arlington’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti told ARLnow. “That usually happens on our motion. There was a follow up hearing in December 2021 to ensure mental health compliance and our notes indicate the court deemed that Mr. Bevan was compliant.”
Mental health symptoms noted during an evaluation after his arrest were later found to no longer be present “likely due to treatment with antipsychotic medicines,” according to Bevan’s court file.
When asked if the hate crime charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence, a plea deal or otherwise, Dehghani-Tafti said there were multiple factors to consider.
“For each case, we take into consideration the evidence that supports the elements of the charge, mitigating evidence such as mental illness, and what is the just thing to do for all the parties involved,” she said. “Balancing all those things, here it made sense to focus on mental health treatment.”
According to a statement from the restaurant employee who was shoved, Bevan came into the restaurant and ordered what she described as too much food. She said she tried and failed to persuade him to shorten his order.
After being served he changed tables. The employee said she noticed he had disappeared when she went to take orders from other customers.
“My son and I went to follow him,” she said. “I asked him to pay for the food, but he kept saying ’emergency.'”
Here is the full cell phone video of the incident. Henry Kim, the young man who took the video, sent it to us. We've blurred out his mom's face at her request. pic.twitter.com/XZWRuuxtMe
— Aimee Cho (@AimeeCho4) May 8, 2021
The woman continued to ask Bevan to pay while her son recorded the confrontation. When her son called the police, Bevan tried to run away.
“I went in front of him to block him, but he kept trying to run,” she said. “He said, ‘Asians, get out of my face.'”
She said she fell after he bumped into her with his shoulder and he got away as she rose to give chase.
When asked if ACPD could confirm provide more information about the hate crime allegation, spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow that “no additional details are available to ensure the integrity of any future court proceedings.”
Court records show Bevan was also charged with two counts of petit larceny and one count of resisting arrest in April 2021 for separate, alleged “dine and dash” incidents in the Pentagon City area.
Records indicate he was only prosecuted for one count of petit larceny, for which he paid a $151 fine. He has a court date on Tuesday, Oct. 11 to review his progress.
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