Police call UPS worker attack hate crime

February 2, 2009 7:09:44 AM PST
Richmond police are investigating what has been reported as a hate crime involving seven male suspects beating a UPS employee in a park in the city, according to a sergeant.

The crime was reported at about 3 a.m. Jan. 24 at a park in the 3500 block of Morningside Drive, Sgt. Roger Buhlis said.

The UPS employee had left work and walked to a nearby gas station where he asked around for a ride home, Buhlis said. A group of males offered him a ride. The male suspects were drinking and the victim, who is black, reportedly drank with them.

They stopped at a park and the UPS worker went to a restroom, where he was struck in the back of the head by one of the suspects, Buhlis said. The others then allegedly started assisting in the attack, yelling racial epithets and fracturing the victim's face bones.

All seven suspects remained in custody Sunday and at least one person confessed to the crime, Buhlis said.

An administrative error at the police station caused a delay in the reporting of the attack. Buhlis explained that the report had been waiting for approval during the on-duty sergeant's day off and that the detectives were not aware of it.