The Darlington Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance with solving an assault that occurred on Monday, May 25, at approximately 10:30 p.m., and has been labeled as a hate crime.
Police officers, along with Rural Medical Ambulance Service and the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, were dispatched to the 500 Block of E. Louisa Street the evening of May 25 for a report of a man suffering from injuries sustained in an assault.
According to police chief, Jason King, the initial investigation into the matter suggests that the male victim, who is a 29-year-old Hispanic Darlington resident, was walking eastbound on Louisa Street when two white males approached him and physically attacked him.
King said that the suspects allegedly struck the victim in the face several times, knocking him to the ground. One of the suspects also allegedly displayed a knife, cut the victim’s shirt, and left a small laceration on his stomach.
The victim was transported by EMS to Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County for treatment of his injuries.
King said the suspects were described as white males in their twenties. One was short and stocky while the other was tall, skinny, and had facial hair.
The suspects fled the scene in a red-colored, newer model, two-door car, which was being driven by a third suspect, described only as a white male. The car was observed leaving Darlington on Hwy. 81 East.
The Darlington Police Department is investigating the matter as a hate crime due to comments directed at the victim while the assault occurred. According to King, the offenders told the victim “to go back to Honduras.”
“This causes us to believe the offenders intentionally selected the person against whom the hate crime was perpetrated in whole or in part because of the offender’s belief or perception regarding the race, national origin or ancestry of the victim, which constitutes a hate crime,” said King.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the police department at 776-4981.