A 21-year-old Santa Barbara City College student was assaulted Monday, September 17 on Calle Real in what Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Mike Burridge said was a “hate crime.”

The victim, a Saudi Arabian male, was walking along the intersection of Calle Real and Winchester Canyon Road when two male suspects in their 20s stopped their vehicle and asked him for directions. Burridge said the victim, who “has trouble communicating in English,” was unable to understand their requests.

“One of the males in the vehicle asked the victim where he was from, to which the victim responded, ‘the Middle East.’ The subjects then said something similar to, ‘do you see something wrong here?'” Burridge said. “The victim did not respond and was suddenly grabbed from behind by one of the males. The other male slammed his head into the roof of the car several times.”

The victim was also cut on his left shoulder before the suspects fled the area.

An individual found the victim disorientated and injured at 3:45 p.m. and paramedics transferred him to the hospital, where he was treated for a possible concussion and three small superficial lacerations.

The suspects were described in a police statement to be driving an older model silver Honda hatchback. One was a white male with short blond hair, and the other was a dark-skinned “possibly Hispanic” male with black hair that was short on the sides and long on the top, Burridge said. Both had mustaches.

Sheriff’s Dept. detectives are attempting to gather more suspect information in order to create composite sketches of the perpetrators. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Dept. at 681-4100 or the anonymous tip line at 681-4171.