In a significant development earlier this week, an Ontario man was taken into custody following his alleged involvement in a hate crime that had been captured on surveillance video.
The incident unfolded on the 23rd of December 2022, when law enforcement officers were called to a scene of an assault at Memorial Park’s basketball court in Azusa. However, by the time they arrived, the suspect, a 27-year-old man named Sebastian Espinosa, had already left the scene.
Information gathered during the investigation revealed that Espinosa had attacked an Asian male who was participating in a basketball game, seemingly without any provocation. The victim was knocked to the ground, and Espinosa continued to strike the victim in the head and face. At that time, the victim wasn’t resisting or attempting to defend himself, as per the arrest reports.
As Espinosa was being pulled away by onlookers, he made one final attack by kicking the victim’s head and face. Before leaving, Espinosa reportedly shouted a racially derogatory term at the victim.
The entire episode was captured by a nearby surveillance camera, according to the police, though the footage has not been made public.
Espinosa was found in Ontario on June 15 and subsequently arrested. He is facing multiple criminal charges, including assault with a deadly weapon and a civil rights hate crime. His bail has been set at $30,000.
According to the California Penal Code, a person’s hands and feet can be deemed deadly weapons if they are used to carry out an assault resulting in severe bodily harm or posing a high risk of such harm.
The Azusa Police Department is urging anyone with further information about the incident to come forward and contact them.