Hispanic man assaulted for speaking Spanish

January 27, 2009 2:36:35 PM PST
A 28-year-old San Jose man was arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime Monday after allegedly attacking another man because he was speaking Spanish, police Officer Jermaine Thomas said Tuesday.

The 53-year-old victim, who is Hispanic, was talking on his cell phone in Spanish in the area of Saratoga and Latimer avenues around 12:20 p.m. when the attack occurred, Thomas said.

The suspect, San Jose resident Scott Pontzious, who is white, allegedly told the victim during the assault that he needed to speak English.

Pontzious then fled but was later arrested nearby. He was booked into Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of battery and committing a hate crime, Thomas said.