$1,000 reward offered for info on J hate crime

February 6, 2012 7:40:01 PM PST
There's now a reward to catch the people accused of a hate crime in San Jose. Three men viciously beat an East Indian man outside a grocery store.

The victim says police took far too long to release this sketch of one of his attackers. The assault happened in November, but the sketch wasn't released until January.

Atul Lall stood side by side Monday with San Jose's police chief, but the hate crime victim is critical of the way the department has handled his case.

"Investigations like this all depend on timely response and that's was missing and because of that my attackers may go free," Lall said.

Lall says three men beat him outside a Lucky grocery store in San Jose last November. The blows knocked out six teeth and broke his jaw. Police say it appears the attack was racially motivated.

"As they were striking the victim with a bottle, it was obvious that the victim was of East Indian decent and they were yelling out and accusing him of being a terrorist," San Jose Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

Lall says it took several weeks for police to even create a sketch of one of the suspects, which was released last month.

Monday, the police chief defended the investigation.

"That work was being done, but it wasn't necessarily being communicated to the victim and I think that's where we fell down is that communication with the victim," San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore said.

San Jose City Councilwoman Rose Herrera joined the police chief in asking any witnesses to come forward. Her office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

"An attack against someone in our community based on their race is an attack against all of us and I take that very seriously," Herrera said.

Lall says Monday's new conference asking for the public's help should have taken place months ago, but he is also grateful for the focus on hate crimes in general and what he considers a delayed, but improved response from police.

"Whatever is done is done, but let's change this so it doesn't happen again," Lall said. "I don't want anyone else to go through what I went through."

Police say they do have surveillance video from the Lucky store's parking lot that night but they are not releasing it at this time.


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