DAVIS, Calif. — Police in Davis, Calif., have arrested a suspect in a brutal attack on a gay man last weekend, and said they were investigating the violent beating as a possible hate crime.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Glenn Glasgow told LGBTQ Nation on Thursday that a 911 call was received at about 3:50 a.m Sunday morning reporting a male had been attacked.
The police report indicated that Mikey Partida, 32, was leaving a party when he was “violently attacked and beaten.”
According to Glasgow, when police officers arrived they found Partida “had sustained moderate to major injuries and was unconscious.” He was transported to the nearby University of California Davis Medical Center.
In an interview from his hospital room, Partida told local media that he was leaving a relative’s home early Sunday morning when a man started harassing him and calling him a “faggot.” Partida said he ignored the man and kept walking.
“I was just trying to make the right choice in a bad situation,” he said.
“It was unprovoked,” Partida said. “He just continued, getting closer and closer, and then he just punched me.”
Article continues belowPartida said he heard the attacker using the slur – faggot – over and over again while beating him. “Pretty loud and proud about it,” Partida said. “He just kept fighting me and fighting me until I blacked out. And then I came to and was here.”
Statements obtained from witnesses indicate the motive for the attack “may have at least partially stemmed from the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation,” according to a police statement.
“The Davis Police Department is investigating this incident as a possible hate crime,” said Glasgow.
“We have identified a suspect in the alleged hate crime incident. Although we are not releasing the identity of the suspect, there could be criminal charges forthcoming at the conclusion of the investigation,” Glasgow said, adding that “because of the nature of the allegations we’re not giving out as much information.”
Glasgow said Davis police investigators are “still tracking down and interviewing witnesses.”
Update: Police have identified the suspect in custody as 19-year-old Clayton Garzon of Davis, Calif.