Several hate crimes have been reported recently across the U.S. Some are still under investigation to determine whether they are hate crimes. This one seems to be transparent although the investigation is still under way...
Reno police on Monday continued to investigate a possible hate crime in downtown Reno where a man allegedly battered a woman on the street - and stabbed her male friend who intervened - because she is gay.
Investigators were asking the public for help in identifying the suspect in the Thursday morning attack near Second and West Streets.
The woman had been with two friends at the 5 Star Saloon on West Street, Reno police said. One friend had left early to retrieve her car at about 5 a.m., Thursday, while the victim had walked out soon after. A third friend, a male, was trailing behind her.
According to a police report, the suspect began yelling anti-homosexual slurs at the woman after she walked by him near Second and West Streets. He had been standing on the sidewalk, and she had never seen him before. She told police she then felt someone grab her by the shoulder, and turn her around. The man then began trying to strangle her, the report said.
The woman’s male friend soon tackled the suspect, and the men struggled on the ground, police said. The man screamed when he felt a sharp pain in his leg, which prompted the suspect to run off.
Soon after, the man realized he was stabbed in the leg. The pair drove to the hospital where they reported the incident to police.
Lt. Mohammad Rafaqat said hate crimes are rare in Reno. According to an FBI report of hate crimes reported to police in 2011, none were reported last year in the Truckee Meadows.
Rafaqat said the attack would be considered a hate crime if the suspect was motivated solely by the woman’s sexual orientation.
The suspect was described as a light-skinned black male, who was 20 to 30, 5-foot-9 inches tall to 5-foot-11 inches tall, thin build, between 130 and 150 pound, who was unshaven, with short black hair and wore dark clothes.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact detectives at 334-2115, or Secret Witness at 322-4900.
TO REPORT A HATE CRIME in Fresno:
FBI Robert B. Schofield 559-436-4474
TO CONTACT THE HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE in Fresno:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elana Landau 559-497-4083