Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 9:00 am | Fair 49º


Local News

$7,500 Reward Offered for Information Leading to Suspects in Apparent New Year’s Hate Crime

Santa Barbara police believe the two victims were targeted because they were perceived by their attackers to be gay

Santa Barbara police remain tight-lipped about the investigation into an apparent hate crime that occurred early on New Year’s Day but are pursuing several active leads.

Two men left a downtown bar in the early morning hours and were assaulted, apparently because they were perceived by their attackers to be gay, according to police. No arrests have been made.

“Two men were assaulted because of nothing that they did, nothing that they did wrong, but because of who they were,” Deputy Police Chief Frank Mannix said at a news conference and rally held in January to support the victims.

The Gay and Lesbian Business Association and Wildcat Lounge are offering a $7,500 reward for any information leading to the arrests and convictions of the attackers.

Volunteers are needed to distribute reward fliers. The group will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Wildcat Lounge, 15 W. Ortega St., for a community meeting with police.

The first suspect has been described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, 160 pounds and was wearing a white and black plaid long-sleeve shirt. The second suspect is believed to be 6 foot 1 and was wearing dark clothing, while the third has been described only as wearing dark clothing.

One victim had a broken jaw and a head injury that needed staples to close. The second victim suffered minor injuries.

A bystander got part of the attack on video, and anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Michael Claytor at 805.897.2346.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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