Police in San Diego are stepping up patrols following several hate-crime attacks on gay men earlier this month. The suspects in all three cases yelled antigay epithets and attacked their victims after dark in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood, the center of the city's gay community, said San Diego police captain Bruce Pfefferkorn. A 17-year-old suspect in one of the attacks was being held Tuesday in Juvenile Hall on charges of committing a hate crime and assault with a deadly weapon. He was recognized in a photo lineup as one of two assailants who stabbed two men outside a sidewalk cafe on September 6.
The victims, in their 20s, suffered minor wounds, Pfefferkorn said. Investigators believe the teen suspect, whose identity is being withheld because he is a minor, may be linked to two subsequent attacks in the Hillcrest area, Pfefferkorn said. On September 15 a 33-year-old man was attacked by two suspects from behind. Two days earlier, a 56-year-old man was beaten by two assailants as he was walking home from dinner. The victim said his assailants shouted epithets at him from a passing car, then pulled over and kicked and hit him. Police declined to identify the victims.