Sacramento Police are investigating an incident in midtown Sacramento’s “Lavender Heights" neighborhood Sunday morning as a hate crime.
"Any time we have an incident like this that's motivated by bias or hatred, it's something that strikes us all very deeply," said Officer Matthew McPhail, a Sacramento Police Department Spokesman.
Police report that just after midnight Sunday morning, a man was assaulted on the street, in the area of 20th and K Street. His injuries weren't life threatening, but he was treated at a nearby hospital.
"It makes me feel that even now, still, in 2016 we still do have a long ways to go," Micale, a woman who frequents the area.
Police say words exchanged during the assault convinced them the incident should receive special consideration as a hate crime.
"The investigation revealed that the suspect used a derogatory term towards the victim about his sexual orientation," Officer McPhail said.
Police were already nearby, and a witness was able flag down a cruiser. With the help of that witness and another, and using intelligence technology deployed in the area, Sacramento Police say they were able to find their suspect and make an arrest within minutes.
Micale is relatively new to Sacramento but says she's always felt safe in the Lavender Heights neighborhood, on what she calls ‘The Rainbow Road,’ even though she knows not everybody agrees with the lifestyle many there are living.
"Because in the same way we have all these rights,” she said. “The first right of the constitution is freedom of speech. So in the same way that you can express yourself and however you are, some can say 'Well I don't like that.'"