Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

BB Gun Attackers Face Hate Crimes Charges in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA – Three cousins from Hayward are being charged with a hate crime for shooting a gay man in the face with a BB gun because they assumed he was a homosexual.  The Oakland Tribune reports that Mohammad Habibzada, 24, Shafiq Hashemi, 21, and Sayed Bassam, 21, saw a man standing outside a gay bar around 10 p.m. on February 26th in the Mission District of San Francisco smoking a cigarette.  They opened fire with a air rifle, hitting him in the face.  BB shot struck the victim in the cheek.  He was not seriously hurt, but as Assistant District Attorney Brian Buckelew noted to the Tribune, “Here we have a guy, shot in face with BB gun, who could have easily been shot in the eye.”  The victim got a clear look at a silver Volvo and reported the attack to police, who arrested the suspects within 15 minutes of the crime thanks to the description of the vehicle.  The alleged attackers had videoed the assault, and their handiwork is in the hands of police as evidence.  According to Buckelew, the video also includes evidence of similar crimes that are now under investigation.  Under police interrogation, the three suspects, all cousins with Hayward addresses, admitted that they chose their target because they thought he was gay.  The trio are facing three felony counts including assault with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and attempted mayhem.  They are also charged with a misdemeanor, violating the civil rights of their victim.  As the Tribune reports, all three suspects are now out of custody, each having posted a $50,000 bond. They are scheduled to be arraigned Friday, when the district attorney will request bail be raised to $100,000 because of the severity of the charges against them.  Other victims are in the video seized by police, representing several other crimes the trio may have committed.  The Assistant District Attorney said that there could be other charges against the three cousins if victims seen on the video come forward.

March 9, 2010 - Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, California, gay men, gun violence, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order | , , , , , ,

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