Police are searching for a suspect in a possible hate crime incident involving a firework being thrown into a crowd, Josh Haskell reports for ABC7.
The incident, which occurred at a Pride disco event in Hermosa Beach, California, happened around 9:45 PM on June 17. Video footage released shows a man wearing a helmet lighting a firework and throwing it at the crowd, then proceeding to hop on a beach cruiser and ride off, with two other individuals on a bike also riding off with him, appearing to accompany him.
Two workers at the event reported injuries after the incident, according to event coordinator Adam Molvani, reporting a minor leg wound and a few burns, respectively.
The Hermosa Beach Police Department is currently investigating the incident as a hate crime: “We cannot rule that out,” said Captain Landon Phillips. “It appears the subject stopped there specifically, waited for a few minutes and then threw the explosive into the crowd.”
The incident comes in the wake of a report released by California Attorney General Rob Bonta in May that details an increase of overall reported hate crimes by 20.2% from 2021 to 2022, in addition to an increase of 29% of reported hate crimes involving sexual orientation bias from 2021 to 2022.