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Sheriff's Office Investigating Imperial Beach Protest Assault; City Officials Call It Hate Crime

A San Diego County Sheriff's vehicle parked at the department's administration center, San Diego, August 13, 2018.
Claire Trageser
A San Diego County Sheriff's vehicle parked at the department's administration center, San Diego, August 13, 2018.

Imperial Beach officials are asking for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to investigate a violent assault near the Imperial Beach Pier this past weekend as a hate crime.

The incident happened Sunday across the street from the Pier Plaza.

Marcus Boyd was videotaping a small group of people harassing the protesters who were gathered to decry police brutality.

He was standing on a corner as protesters were chanting “This is what democracy looks like” when a tall man in a red T-shirt and dark shorts walked up behind Boyd and punched him in the head.

“He punches poorly, so it looked a lot worse than it felt,” Boyd said.

Boyd tumbled into the street after being hit and the assailant ran away with several other people.

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Imperial Beach Assault Called Disturbing

“They made it a point to be disruptive. And then they came back with eggs and started throwing eggs,” Boyd said.

Sheriff’s officials said in an email statement that they have interviewed a suspect, but there was no positive ID so the investigation continues.

Imperial Beach officials and Mayor Pro Tem Paloma Aguirre found the event disturbing.

“I told him that we stand with him in solidarity with the entire black community of Imperial Beach and regionally,” Aguirre said.

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Aguirre also said she is proud of the young people who organized the Sunday protest even as they were being intimidated online.

“People should not be afraid to be able to peacefully protest,” Aguirre said. “Because of fear that somebody will come and punch them or aggravate them or even harass them that is not acceptable. We won’t tolerate that.”

The incident is not a deterrent to the protesters. They plan another protest this coming weekend, and Aguirre said city officials will make sure they are safe from intimidation.

Sheriff's Office Investigating Imperial Beach Protest Assault; City Officials Call It Hate Crime
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.