Long Beach Teens Face Hate Crime Charges

Hector Becerra and Rong-Gong Lin II, L.A. Times, Nov. 22, 2006

Los Angeles County prosecutors today filed hate crimes charges against eight black teenagers accused of beating up three white women on Halloween night in a case that has startled and divided Long Beach.

Authorities said they took the action after concluding that the teens attacked and beat the women in the upscale Bixby Knolls area because they were white.

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According to police, a mob of mostly girls, ages 12 to 17, allegedly hurled racial insults at the women, threw small pumpkins and lemons at them, and then knocked them to the ground with kicks, punches and swings of a skateboard.

The attack left the women, two 19-year-olds and a 21-year-old bloodied and with broken bones, internal bruises and cuts, before a black passerby stopped his car and pulled their assailants away.

“What could have possibly gone through their mind to make them think this kind of behavior was OK?” asked Long Beach Police Officer Jackie Bezart. The girls, who face felony assault charges, appeared in court today.

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