Man facing hate crime charges after racist, homophobic outburst in SLO

John Lentz


A 26-year-old San Luis Obispo man is facing a hate crime charge after he allegedly spit in the face of an Asian, gay police officer while yelling racial and homophobic slurs, according to court records.

John Lentz also faces charges of battery on a police officer, resisting an officer and drunk in public. Lentz was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

On March 19, Lentz’ father called 911 to report his son had a gun and was threatening to harm himself and anyone who tried to stop him. Officers arrived at the San Luis Obispo home and decided to transport Lentz to a mental health facility for evaluation.

Lentz then became aggressive, attempting to pull away while challenging the officers to a fight. In the police cruiser, Lentz began smashing his head against a window.

Officer John Stevens pulled over and attempted to assist Lentz, who spit in his face while saying he had COVID-19.

At the hospital, Lentz began ripping “cords” from his body and slamming hospital equipment while yelling racial and homophobic slurs at Stevens. Lentz again spit on Steven’s face saying he wanted to f**k him up.

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One Comment about “Man facing hate crime charges after racist, homophobic outburst in SLO”

  1. CentralCoastNative says:

    This is irresponsible reporting. This man has mental health issues and was attempting suicide. He did not set out to harm anyone. He was in his home. The officers came into his home and attempted to take him to get mental health treatment.

    He has a history dysphoria mania which leads him to abuse alcohol to cope when it goes untreated. History of alcoholic hallucinosis in this state causes people to say and do things they would not normally do. They fear people are doing things to harm then, with that becoming a reality for him by getting a “ride” to the hospital. His fear was realized and people psychosis tend to fight back. He did not leave his home to set out and harm anyone. In his mind, harm came to him.

    I can guarantee you he has no recollection of events that occurred. This was just an attempt to get help that went terribly wrong. And I can double guarantee you he is not racist against Asians as he is half Asian Pacific Islander. A whole have of his family are Asian Pacific Islanders. I see you did not bother to report his middle name. That would have been the first clue. Also, how would he know the officer is gay?

    When will mental illness crisis situations be taken seriously? What if this was your friend or loved one? Report the story as is, fine. But maybe leave out the name and photo in these situations when someone is threatening or attempted suicide and screaming for help.

    I know there are many in this town who also know him well. Hopefully he can get the help and support he is seeking.

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