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Police allege hate crime in deaf beating

September 11, 2007

ANTIOCH, Calif. – Police have arrested two teenagers on suspicion of hate crimes after they allegedly taunted a group of deaf people at a party and later attacked them.

Witnesses told police that Phillip Hale, 18, and an unnamed 17-year-old approached the group in a garage early Sunday and began mocking and mimicking them, police Cpl. Michael Hulsey said.

The pair was asked to leave but later returned with a stick, a hoe and a brick, and a fight broke out, Hulsey said. One deaf victim suffered a minor head injury.

Hale also suffered a head injury and was treated before being booked at a jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy and committing a hate crime, according to jail records. He remained in custody Monday on $135,000 bail.

The 17-year-old was taken to juvenile hall.