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(Santa Cruz Police Department via Facebook)

Santa Cruz police arrest man suspected of hate crime assault

The Santa Cruz Police Department arrested a man on suspicion of a hate crime after they received a report of a stabbing early Tuesday morning.

Santa Cruz police arrested a man on suspicion of a hate crime after he allegedly confronted two men and caused a significant but not life-threatening stab wound to the leg of one Tuesday morning near the intersection of Beach and Main streets.

At 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a reported stabbing and found two male victims, according to a release. They provided emergency aid and the man was taken to a trauma center for treatment.

Police say the men were walking on the 100 block of Main Street when a male suspect began shouting anti-gay comments and displayed two knives. The victims tried to deescalate the situation but the suspect attacked them before fleeing.

After officers arrived on the scene, they searched the area and found a man who matched the description of the suspect. They arrested 39-year-old Anthony Williams and accused him of assault with a deadly weapon, violation of civil rights — a hate crime — and carrying a concealed dagger.

Santa Cruz detectives believe Williams was motivated by the perceived sexual orientation of the victims, according to the release.

A hate crime is an offense committed against a person, group, or property, in which the person who committed the offense was motivated by the victim’s real or perceived protected social group.