Police get to the bottom of a second-hand social media story about a hate crime. It did happen but there are details that differ from the social media post.
The San Diego LGBT community was on high alert this week when a story surfaced of not only a post-Pride bashing in Hillcrest but one that involved multiple “skinheads” against someone who they perceived to be a gay man.
Social media was quick to respond and share the story in order to alert the community of the crime, but we spoke to police and there are some differences in the online account and the one given to police by the victim.
The initial story was posted by proxy from Jill Zwiers this past Wednesday via the social media platform Nextdoor. Based on what the unidentified victim told her, it claimed he had been walking to Ralphs at The Hub on Tuesday by way of 10th Avenue near the opening of the alley between Robinson Avenue and Essex Street.
According to Zwiers' posting, at about 10:30 pm the victim says he saw a white truck containing “two white men” in the cab and two in the truck bed. He conveyed he saw a skinhead sticker on the vehicle with “German lettering.”
The men then jumped out of the truck shouting “this is what happens to fa**ots” and beat the victim about the head causing him, as the post says, to require stitches. The post also says the victim made a police report.
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News was immediately alerted to the story and began to investigate, but after an extensive search by San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit, nothing turned up and Jill Zwiers was only the messenger who passed on our information to the man making the claims.
Mayor of Hillcrest and City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez had also got wind of the incident and made some calls, but still nothing. The San Diego Police Department launched an immediate investigation including getting in touch with the victim and verifying the details of his experience.
Acting Lieutenant and LGBT community liaison Sergeant Dan Meyer gave SDGLN an exclusive report on the incident. There are some differences from the Nextdoor post and the official report given to police by the victim.
Sgt. Meyer says the victim wishes to remain anonymous.
He also confirmed to us that the incident did occur on Tuesday, July 17 at about 9 pm. "The victim was pushed down by a white male who was accompanied by three other white males while walking in the Hillcrest neighborhood at 3700 10th Avenue," said Sgt. Meyer. "The victim suffered minor abrasions to the head. The victim did not require medical treatment for his injuries."
Meyer also confirmed that the assailants made a homophobic slur toward the victim before they fled. Unlike the Nextdoor app second-hand account, Meyer said the victim did not call police and therefore no record was made of the crime, making it impossible to confirm what happened. "Once notified and made aware of the incident, Western Division located the victim and offered Police services," said Meyer.
Police are currently looking for the assailants who are described as four white males, 25-35 years old, shoulder length hair, in a white 1975-1980 Chevrolet or GMC pickup with a lumber rack on top.
This incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
Murray-Ramirez praised the San Diego Police Department for their quick action once they heard about the crime. "I must highly commend Police Chief David Nisleit and Acting Lieutenant Dan Meyer who investigated this incident and gave me a full report within hours after I requested one," he said.
The San Diego Police Department encourages all victims to come forward and report crimes so they can be investigated appropriately.
If you have any information about this case please call (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154