H-SANTA BARBARA

Jan 3, 2012 7:22 PM by Courtney Meznarich

Possible hate crime in Santa Barbara captured on video

The Santa Barbara Police Department says it needs help from the public to find three men they believe attacked two other men because they thought they were gay. Officers have released a video of the attack and they hope it prompts people to come forward.

Officers say the two victims were leaving a bar near Ortega Street and Chapala Street just before 2:00a.m. Sunday when they were confronted by three men. Officers say one of the men made a derogatory comment, then all three started attacking the two victims. One suffered a broken jaw and head injury that required staples to close, and the other victim suffered minor injuries.

Officers say they believe the motivation for the attack was that the suspects thought the victims were gay.

The suspects are described as white male adults in their 20's. One is about 5'4" and 160 lbs. with a shaved head, seen wearing a white and black plaid long sleeve shirt. The second suspect is approximately 6'1" with a shaved head, and was last seen wearing dark clothing. The third suspect also is described as having a shaved head and was last seen wearing dark clothing.

"Hate crimes like these will not be tolerated and those responsible will be held accountable," said Police Chief Cam Sanchez. The department is investigating the assault as a hate crime. Anyone with information should call Det. Kushner at 897-2345.

Be sure to watch KSBY News Tuesday night to see the video clip.

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