BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who had faced hate crime charges for allegedly shouting racial slurs while vandalizing a Burger King in Bakersfield has pleaded no contest to two charges, according to court records.
Rodney Rusco, 53, pleaded no contest Friday to felony vandalism and misdemeanor resisting arrest in connection with the Oct. 13 incident at the Burger King on White Lane. Seven other charges, including four misdemeanor hate crime counts, were dismissed, records show.
Sentencing is set for June 27.
Rusco, who is white, began yelling and using racial slurs at the restaurant’s Hispanic employees and repeatedly shouted “white power,” according to police reports. Employees said they saw him holding a knife.
Employees locked themselves in an office after Rusco began breaking items and jumped over the front counter, the reports say. Rusco tried but failed to break into the office, and was taken into custody by police who used a Taser and physical force, according to the reports.
Damage was estimated at $10,000, reports say.
Police seized a folding knife from the table where Rusco had been seated as well as three bottles of Weed Cellars Chardonnay, the documents say. One bottle was empty, another a quarter empty and the third full.