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No Evidence of Hate Crime in Strip Club Assault That Resulted in Two Men Losing Limbs

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Prosecutors have declined to charge a man accused of deliberately driving his vehicle into two men standing outside a Downtown strip club with a hate crime, citing a lack of evidence.

Terrence Conrad Meeks, 40, of Paramount, is being arraigned Tuesday afternoon on one count of driving under the influence causing injury and one count of driving with .08 percent blood alcohol causing injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The complaint against Meeks includes a special allegation that more than one person was injured. Bail is expected to be set at $160,000.

The incident took place in the wee hours of Sunday morning outside Sam's Hofbrau, a strip club at Olympic Boulevard and McGarry Street. Meeks allegedly left the venue at about 3:30 a.m. and got into his BMW. He allegedly proceeded to ram the vehicle into two men standing outside, pinning them against a parked Mini Cooper. Meeks and the men had reportedly been engaged in a dispute earlier inside the club.

Both men suffered tremendous injuries to their legs; one victim had both legs severed beneath the knee, while the other had his right leg crushed, requiring it to be amputated as well. Both men remain hospitalized.

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In the aftermath of the accident, information circulated leading to speculation the suspect would face hate crime charges; Meeks, who is African American, allegedly made racially-charged comments to both victims, who were described as Hispanic, during the dispute inside the club.

If convicted, Meeks faces up to five years in state prison.