The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged a Union City man with commission of a hate crime after a confrontation at a fast-food restaurant earlier this month, authorities said.
In a statement, Fremont police said officers responded around 8:20 p.m. on Aug. 21 to the Taco Bell at 40660 Grimmer Blvd., for a report of a disturbance.
When officers arrived, they found and separated two arguing men. They escorted one man to the parking lot and made sure he left the premises.
Other officers spoke with the remaining man, who said the other man had disparaged a particular religion and used “extremely offensive and hurtful language,” police said.
Initially, police were not able to establish a hate crime and noted that the man, who was not arrested, made no physical threats.
But officers later reviewed a cell-phone video that appeared to capture part of the interaction before officers’ arrival. In that video, officers saw the second man directing “specific religious slurs and derogatory comments,” police said.
After reaching out to the victim for another interview, officers presented a case to the District Attorney’s Office, who charged a 37-year-old Union City man with a hate crime in violation of civil rights and with disturbing the peace.
The man, who was not listed in custody Monday night, faces an unspecified court date.
In comments on the video’s appearance on social media, Fremont police Chief Sean Washington said the department takes hate crimes seriously.
“These incidents are despicable. We are here to protect all community members, regardless of their gender, race, nationality, religion, and other differences,” Washington said.
“We would like to urge the community to be respectful of each other and to immediately report any circumstances such as this that, upon investigation, may rise to the level of a crime. In the event of a hate crime, we will devote all available resources to follow up and investigate.
“Fremont is one of the nation’s most diverse communities, and we are thankful for the contributions of community members from different cultures and backgrounds.”
Anyone with information may e-mail Fremont police Sgt. Kim Macdonald at [email protected] or call 510-790-6802.
Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.