Phoenix police are investigating a possible “bias related” attack on an Asian American man during a basketball game at Phoenix Suns Arena on Tuesday.
The unidentified victim was with his two children when he heard profanities before a beer bottle was thrown at him, reports AZCentral. He reported the incident to the authorities at about 9:40 p.m.
On Wednesday, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune of the Phoenix police said they are currently trying to retrieve video of the alleged attack that he shared could be due to bias.
Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce CEO Vicente Reid, a friend of the victim, believes it was a hate crime.
In an interview with The Arizona Republic, he pointed out how “completely unprovoked” the attack was.
“He was with his two young kids, and hears some guy shout ‘(expletive) Asians’ and he gets hit with a beer bottle,” he was quoted as saying.
According to Reid, what made the victim “especially furious” was the fact that his children witnessed the attack. Reid said his friend’s children were “traumatized” by the incident.
The Phoenix Suns responded to Reid’s earlier post about the incident on Twitter, noting that they are cooperating with the investigation.
“When these incidents pop up, it saddens me,” Suns coach Monty Williams said on Twitter. “Not because I’m a Black man. Because I am a man. I’m a human and human beings should treat each other like human beings. Sounds like that didn’t happen last night and it’s pretty sad.”
Reid said going to any Suns games will now be difficult for him “without knowing about more safety protocols being in place.”
He added that sports organizations and corporations can do more to address such acts than just issue statements.