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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 16, 2002

Victim yet to give clues into beating

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

Police couldn't say yesterday if a 26-year-old California man who was found severely beaten in He'eia on Sunday was the victim of a hate crime.

The man was naked and unconscious, with women's clothing nearby.

Detectives yesterday were still waiting to interview the injured man, who is in guarded condition at The Queen's Medical Center.

"If he was beaten for a hate crime, then we'll classify it as that," said Honolulu Police Capt. Carlton Nishimura. "It's hard to determine from the scene alone. We don't know what happened. We can't interview him yet. He's still under sedation."

Honolulu police have had no cases of hate crimes since the passage of Hawai'i's hate-crime law in June 2001, according to police statistics.

The law establishes tougher penalties for offenders who pick their victims on the basis of hatred for a particular race, religion, disability, national origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Police said a passer-by found the man with head injuries at about 6 a.m. Sunday.