Huntington Beach Cops Probe "Possible" Hate Crime Against African Americans

Something's broken in HB.
Something's broken in HB.

Someone yelling racial slurs at and throwing a rock through an African American family's apartment window early Tuesday is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to the Huntington Beach Police Department.

The incident happened in the 6400 block of Warner Avenue, where a resident of the apartment went to the window in time to see a man who later rode away on a bicycle, says Officer Jennifer Marlatt, the Surf City police squad's spokeswoman.

He was described as white, late 20s to early 30s, 6-foot, slim build and wearing a white T-shirt under a gray, button-up shirt, blue jeans and a dark baseball cap.

After traversing Warner, he turned south on Edwards Street, Marlatt said.

The woman of the house, Elisha Caballero, told KABC Eyewitness News that her 14-year-old son overheard the man say before he split that "it felt good" to vandalize and terrorize the family.

Caballero says she and her sons—the other is 9—felt excited to move into the neighborhood recently, but now the mother fears for the safety of her children.

"That someone would do something like this just because of the color of my skin ... it just really, really hurt my heart," Caballero told the TV reporter, adding that only love will stamp out hate.

KABC cameras caught images of the damage and a pile of glass awaiting removal.

There is a history of African Americans moving to Huntington Beach because it is nice but encountering hate that made them feel unwelcome. Pacific Beach Club, not to be confused with today’s Pacific City, was a beachfront resort for African Americans that burned down under mysterious circumstances before its scheduled 1926 opening. Intended to be the "grandest of escapes" for black people who were restricted from most California's beaches, the resort was opposed by the Huntington Beach chamber of commerce and the city tried to prevent water and electricity from being run to the club.

One researcher, who noted the influx of white Southerners in the region at the time, theorizes a member or members of the Ku Klux Klan torched Pacific Beach Club.

Tips about the modern day terror can be left, even anonymously, with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS), via occrimestoppers.org or by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cell phone. (All text messages should begin with the letters "OCCS".)

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