Police are investigating a possible hate crime after an LGBTQ-identifying Isla Vista resident was allegedly assaulted Sunday.
Kelly Hoover, spokesperson for Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, said a sheriff’s deputy responded to an assault victim at a local hospital at approximately 10:45 p.m. Sunday.
She said the 28-year-old male told police he was assaulted at Estero Park following a basketball game.
According to police, the victim said he went to the park to play basketball at approximately 5:30 p.m. and two black males arrived to join the game. When the game was over, one of the black males told the victim he was not welcome to play anymore.
The victim refused to leave the court, police said, prompting the male suspect to make statements regarding the victim’s alleged sexual orientation. Police said the suspect then allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing extensive injuries that required surgery at the hospital.
Police described the subject as a black male adult between 18 to 21 years of age. They said he is approximately 6’1″ tall with short dreadlocks and was wearing black shorts, a grey basketball shirt and possibly black shoes.
Hoover said police are currently investigating the incident as a hate crime.