Photo: Hate crime
Police in Boulder, Colorado, said they are investigating an attack on an Hispanic man as a crime possibly motivated by prejudice.
The incident took place late Wednesday night on a main thoroughfare in Boulder, a city of roughly 98,000 people 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Denver.
An unidentified male suspect holding a knife called the Latino a derogatory name and when the victim tried to walk away, the assailant followed, striking and kicking the Hispanic man, Boulder police spokesman Thomas Trujillo said.
The attacker had fled by the time police reached the scene.
“Based on the comments made by the suspect to the victim and the suspect’s assaultive actions, the police department is investigating this as a potential bias-motivated crime,” Sgt. Trujillo said.
Boulder County has around 32,000 Latino residents, representing a little more than 10 percent of the total population, according to the 2010 Census.
A May 2011 report from the district attorney’s office cited an increase in bias crimes in Boulder County since 2004 and attributed the trend to the effects of the recession.
The most dramatic incident came in May 2008, when three white teenagers beat an Hispanic man as he walked out of a shop in Boulder, accusing him of stealing jobs from America.
District Attorney Stanley Garnett announced last year that his office would dedicate more personnel and resources to investigating hate crimes.