Four arrested in Mt. View hate crime

February 24, 2009 2:00:38 PM PST
Four East Palo Alto residents have been arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime early Saturday morning in Mountain View, police said Tuesday.

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Police said four victims had left a bar and were walking to their car in a parking lot in the 200 block of Castro Street when they were approached by two female suspects.

The suspects harassed the victims, who were speaking Hindi, and made racially charged comments about their ethnicity and the language they were using, police said.

The two female suspects allegedly approached a female victim and began punching and slapping her. When the victim's husband intervened, a group of four to six male suspects appeared, dragging the husband away from his wife, police said. The suspects then began to punch and kick the husband.

Two other male victims attempted to intervene but were also punched, police said.

The suspects then fled in two different vehicles, according to police.

The victims managed to obtain the license plate number of one of the vehicles and investigators learned the owner of the vehicle lived in East Palo Alto, police said. East Palo Alto police began to work with Mountain View officers and alerted them that, coincidentally, they had been investigating a possible shooting connected to that address.

East Palo Alto police also told Mountain View police that some people involved in the East Palo Alto case were in the waiting room of Stanford Hospital, and had been in Mountain View earlier.

Mountain View police responded to the hospital and arrested Frisco Tuipulotu and Richard Juarez, both 23-year-old East Palo Alto residents, on charges of committing a hate crime in connection with the Mountain View case.

An additional suspect, identified as Tuuta Tuipulotu, 20, was located by East Palo Alto police during a traffic stop and later arrested by Mountain View police, who also arrested a fourth suspect, identified as 24-year-old Caroline Evaimalo. Evaimalo had gone to the Mountain View Police Department to be interviewed.

The investigation into the hate crime is ongoing, Mountain View police said.

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