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ELK GROVE, Calif. (CBS13) – A man who allegedly shouted slurs at a man during an assault earlier this month has been charged with a hate crime, authorities said.
The Elk Grove Police Department said 30-year-old Joel Olivarez of Sacramento has been charged with aggravated battery for allegedly assaulting a man in the parking lot of Strikes Family Entertainment Center following a verbal argument.
The alleged victim, Seth Parker, told CBS13 the suspect struck him in the face during the late night attack on June 5, causing multiple fractures around an eye and nerve damage. Parker said Olivarez shouted gay slurs repeatedly during the alleged attack.
Police detectives have categorized the incident as a hate crime. A second person who accompanied the suspect was also located and is considered a witness to the investigation.
“Hopefully, this investigation and arrest will serve as a message to those who not only would commit a criminal act but would do so motivated by hate or bias,” Elk Grove Police Chief Robert M. Lehner said in a statement issued Tuesday evening.
The investigation is still ongoing and authorities are asking any other witnesses to call the Elk Grove Detective Bureau at (916) 478-8060.