5 attacks on gay men in Long Beach have been reported in the past 10 days. The attacks are being investigated by the police as possible hate incidents.
Los Angeles Times reports:
Police in Long Beach are investigating three incidents in the last two weeks in which gay men were assaulted in the city’s Broadway Corridor, a neighborhood known for its tight-knit gay and lesbian community.
The suspect in one case has been charged with a hate crime while the others are still under investigation, said police spokesman Rico Fernandez.
“We don’t believe any of these three are connected in any way,” Fernandez said. “We just think it’s a coincidence that three incidents happened relatively close to each other.”
According to Long Beach police, the first attack happened on July 24, near a popular gay bar on Falcon Avenue and Broadway.
Police say 21-year-old Jorge Jhovanoy Ibarrias, from Torrance, approached the victim and asked him if he was gay.
“When the victim responded that he was, he was then punched in the face,” Long Beach Police Cmd. Joe Stilinovich said.
Ibarrias is now in custody, and felony battery charges have been filed against him, along with hate crime enhancements.
He has pleaded not guilty, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.
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