6 arrests in hate crime incident

SIX TEEN BOYS have been arrested in connection with an alleged “hate crime” incident at a Westminster park (Shutterstock).

Six teenage boys were arrested Friday on robbery, assault and hate crime charges in Westminster in connection with an incident that took place in February.

According to Commander Kevin McCormack of the WPD, five of those arrested were from Westminster and aged in range from 15 to 17. The sixth was a 15-year-old Garden Grove resident.

The incident took place on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Gillespie Park, 9801 McFadden Ave. (near Brookhurst Street). After learning about a fight at the park, the WPD school resource officer contacted the 15-year-old victim, a resident of Westminster, and learned he had been “jumped” in the park by about 10 youths who thought he was filming them with his cellular phone.

The suspects hit and kicked the victim repeatedly in the head, face and torso “while yelling racial slurs” at him. He sustained minor scrapes on his face as a result of the attack.

An investigation resulted in the arrest of the six for the attack and the theft of the victim’s cell phone. Three of the suspects will be transported to Orange County Juvenile Hall on robbery, assault and hate crime charges; the other three will be released to their parents.

The investigation is ongoing until the remaining suspects are identified.

“The Westminster Police Department does not tolerate hate crimes and will investigate them vigorously until the suspects are brought to justice,” said Chief Darin Lenyi.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call School Resource Officer Omar Ayala-Campos of the WPD at (714) 548-3772.

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