State corrections employee facing hate crime charge for Lake Chabot incident suspended from job

A state corrections employee facing a hate crime charge after she allegedly attacked and shouted insults at Muslim men praying in Lake Chabot Regional Park earlier this month has been placed on leave pending an internal investigation, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations said on Friday.
Denise Slader, a Castro Valley resident, was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor battery and a civil rights violation in connection with the Dec. 6 confrontation, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

The incident drew public attention after the victims posted a video online showing Slader angrily telling the men they are "deceived by Satan." She later reacts angrily, allegedly hitting the man filming her with her umbrella and throwing coffee at him.

Corrections department officials said an internal investigation is underway.
"We cannot comment on the specifics of that investigation; however, discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated," the department said in a statement today. "We expect all of our employees to treat everyone with dignity and respect both on and off the job."

East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones said last week that Slader approached the men as they were praying by the volleyball courts near the park entrance at about 3 p.m.

She got into a conversation with the men that escalated into an argument, eventually saying things to them like, "Your God is Satan" and "the Koran is evil," according to Jones.
That's when one of the men started recording her. Slader is talking at the start of the video, saying, "The people you torture are going to be in heaven. You are very deceived by Satan. Your mind has been taken over, brainwashed, and you've got nothing but hate."

A park ranger tries to intervene, telling her she is being inappropriate, but Slader responds that it's inappropriate for the man to tape her.

The man taping says, "This lady was talking about my God."

That's when Slader allegedly attacked him with her umbrella and coffee. The video does not show exactly what happens, but the man can be heard yelling, "Do not touch me!"

Slader is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Jan. 7.