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Man accused of hate crime to undergo mental health evaluation

Updated July 3, 2023 - 9:13 pm

A man accused of attacking a 75-year-old Filipino-American man in his garage in what prosecutors called a hate crime was ordered on Monday to undergo a mental health evaluation.

“It does appear that there might be some competency concerns in this case,” Justice of the Peace Pro Tempore Andrew Wong said before granting a request from Christian Lentz’s defense attorney for him to receive a competency evaluation.

Lentz, 44, did not appear in court, and defense attorney Mandy McKellar declined to comment after the hearing.

Lentz is facing felony charges of burglary motivated by bias or hatred toward the victim and abuse of an older or vulnerable person motivated by bias or hatred toward the victim, court records show.

He is accused of attacking his neighbor, Amadeo Quindara, on May 30.

Quindara previously told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had a negative interaction with Lentz the day before, when Lentz told Quindara and his wife to speak English while they were talking in Tagalog with their fellow Filipino neighbors.

The following day, Quindara said Lentz threatened to “put him on a ventilator.”

Quindara alleged that about 30 minutes later, Lentz returned and attacked him, punching him in the face multiple times and slamming him on the ground, opening a gash in the back of his head.

Lentz walked out of the garage yelling “die” multiple times, according to Quindara and a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.

Police said Lentz was not arrested the day of the attack, because he locked himself inside his house. He was arrested the following day outside his home.

Lentz previously told the Review-Journal that he is “not a hate crime person,” and that he did not remember the alleged encounter. He said that his memory from the end of May through June was “fuzzy.”

During a mental health evaluation, a state psychiatrist will determine if Lentz is able to stand trial and can understand the court proceedings.

Lentz had been released from custody on bail. On Monday, the judge reiterated that Lentz is not allowed to have contact with the victim or his family, after Chief Deputy District Attorney Colleen Baharav said Lentz was waving at Quindara during a prior court hearing.

Wong ordered Lentz back to court on July 21.

Quindara observed Monday’s hearing with his wife, Leonida Quindara, and a group of about a dozen friends and supporters, some wearing white T-shirts reading “solidarity” and decrying hate crimes against Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

“I got a lot of support. I’m very thankful they showed up,” Amadeo Quindara said Monday.

Many of the supporters had also gathered for a “Stop Asian Hate” rally on Thursday morning in front of the Regional Justice Center.

Gloria Caoile, who spoke during the rally and attended the court hearing, said Monday that she wants her community’s voices to be heard.

“An injury to one is an injury to all,” said Caoile, the founding vice chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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