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BAKERSFIELD — Jesus Lopez walked out to his mailbox on June 22 and ended up in the hospital instead. Now, he’s fighting for his life after being beaten by up to 12 African-American men. And it’s being called a hate crime.
Police say the 49-year-old man and his nephew were walking to the apartment complex mailbox when he passed a group of young African-American men who made a racial remark to Lopez. A fight ensued, which is when Lopez’s nephew ran for help. While police believe up to a dozen men may have been involved in the beating, two were the main instigators, and now your help is needed in finding the suspects.
The Secret Witness program is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to their arrest. Both are believed to be 18-year-old African-American men. The first suspect is described as a 5 feet 8 inches, 150 pounds, with chin whiskers, wearing a black do-rag on his head, white T-shirt, black pants and white shoes. The second is described as 5 feet 5 inches, 100 pounds, black hair worn in shoulder length corn rows, wearing a red T-shirt and white tennis shoes.
If you have any information, please call Bakersfield police at 326-3873 or the Secret Witness Program at 322-4040.
Lopez is in critical condition at Kern Medical Center.
(Posted on June 27, 2005)