Irvine Police are asking the public’s help to identify a young man, possibly a teen, who attacked a 69-year-old Asian man during an argument about their dogs last week.
The attack happened around 7 p.m. on March 19 while the victim was walking his dog outside Sierra Vista Middle School in Irvine, California, according to KTLA.
The victim told the police he saw the suspect jogging and kicking a soccer ball in the area before the assault happened. The suspect was with his off-leash dog, described as black and white and believed to be a husky.
He picked up his own dog to prevent conflict when the suspect’s dog approached and showed signs of aggression. Eventually, the two dogs got into a fight when the victim accidentally lost control of his dog’s leash.
“The two dogs began fighting and the victim rushed to separate them,” the police said, OC Register reported. “While attempting to defend his dog, the victim was struck in the head from behind by the male that was seen jogging.”
The assailant then fled the scene with his dog while the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. The man suffered a cut on his hand and no other serious injuries.
Police said they haven’t found any evidence pointing to an anti-Asian hate crime.
“Nothing racial was said during the attack,” Sergeant Karie Davies said, adding that authorities have yet to rule out the possibility of a hate crime. “Until we can find (the suspect) and talk to him, we don’t know the motivation.”
She added that both dogs were uninjured.
The suspect is described as a young man, possibly in his late teens, wearing a dark T-shirt over a white long-sleeved shirt, dark shorts over white leggings or socks, black athletic shoes and a white backpack. Detectives think he might be connected to a white sedan or coupe car.
The recent incident follows the rise of anti-Asian attacks reported around the country, particularly against the elderly. Over the weekend, several rallies were held in cities such as Atlanta and New York City to protest against the violence that the AAPI community has suffered.
Those who may have information are urged to contact Detective Gavin Hudson at 949-724-7168 or reach him by email at [email protected].
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