The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Defamation League are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the persons involved in the alleged hate crime against a 21-year-old Santa Barbara City College student that occurred Sept. 17.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, works to counteract prejudice in all of its forms, Julie Saltoun, community director for the Anti-Defamation League, said.
“The money was evenly donated by the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League. We decided to post the reward because this is one of the worst hate crimes in Santa Barbara County since the Sept. 11 incident and still remains unsolved,” she said.
The victim, Sari Asiri, was reportedly attacked while walking along the intersection of Calle Real and Winchester Canyon Road at approximately 3:30 p.m. According to the police report, a white male with short, blond hair and a dark-skinned, “possibly Hispanic” male with black hair driving an older model silver Honda hatchback asked Asiri for directions.
One of the males asked Asiri where he was from and Asiri replied “the Middle East.” The suspects then said something similar to, “Do you see something wrong here?” Asiri told authorities he was then grabbed from behind by one of the males and his head was slammed into the roof of the car several times.
Asiri returned to Saudi Arabia after the attack, but is expected to return soon, Saltoun said.
Anyone with information regarding the assault is asked to call the Sheriff’s Dept. at 681-4100 or the anonymous tip line at 681-4171.
— Rebecca Turek