Several Recent Assaults Being Investigated As Possible Hate Crimes
2011-08-05 · By Editor
Over the past 10 days, the Long Beach Police Department has received three separate complaints of assaults that have occurred in a downtown neighborhood, known for its population of gay and lesbian citizens and businesses. Although the geographic location and timing of the incidents are in close proximity, there is no indication that the three incidents are related.
On July 24, 2011, at approximately 5:30 pm, a group of males were walking in the area of Falcon Ave and Broadway when a male approached the group and asked one if he was gay. When the victim responded that he was, the suspect punched him in the face and fled from the location. Responding officers immediately apprehended the suspect, who has now been identified as 22-year-old Jorge Ibarrias, a resident of Torrance. On July 26, the LA County District Attorney’s Office filed one felony count of battery with a hate crime enhancement and he remains in custody.
On July 27, shortly after 7:00 pm, a gay male was in the area of Orange Ave. and Broadway when he approached another male who was walking on the sidewalk. The victim attempted to engage the suspect in conversation when the suspect struck the victim, then used a derogatory slur referring to the victim’s sexual orientation. After the assault the suspect fled from the location. As of this date, this incident has not been classified as a hate crime and is being reviewed as a possible hate incident.
On July 31, 2011, at approximately 1:30 am, a group of males were walking in the 1800 block of Broadway when they were approached by two males who addressed them with hate slurs. The groups’ confrontation escalated into a fight, which ended quickly. The two groups separated and the victims continued to walk towards their residence. While walking, the suspects returned with a larger group and assaulted the victims. Three of the victims sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The latter two incidents are still under investigation and detectives are seeking additional witnesses. Anyone with any information about these crimes is encouraged to call Detective Jackie Bezart of the Violent Crimes Detail at (562) 570-7250. Anonymous tips may also be submitted my text or via the web by visiting www.longbeach.gov/police.
Incidents of this nature are of great concern to the Long Beach Police Department and the community. The Police Department will continue to work with community groups, the City’s Hate Crime Response Team and the Human Dignity coordinator to address the concerns of the victims and the community.