One man was hospitalized early Monday morning and a second escaped serious injury after being hit by a sledgehammer during an attempted robbery, 10New reported.
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Two men were sitting in a BMW at the intersection of Alabama Street and Lincoln Avenue in North Park around 1 a.m. after leaving Richs Nightclub. The passenger of the car leaned over and gave the driver a hug when a man approached the car and demanded money.
Instead of complying, the driver rolled up his window. The suspect then smashed out the driver side window with a sledgehammer and then hit the driver in the face at least three times with the hammer.
The passenger in the car jumped out to stop the man, but he was also hit with the hammer in the forehead and the ear. The passenger ran from the scene and called 911.
When paramedics arrived, they found the driver suffering from severe head trauma and rushed him to Scripps Mercy Hospital.
The passenger was treated at the scene.
10News reported Ariana Duarte spoke with the passenger of the BMW, who did not want to be identified, and he says the attack was a hate crime, men being targeted because they are gay.
People here, in this neighborhood, they are looking for, I guess, to take out their frustrations, you know, with us, gay people, the gay community, the passenger said.
Last week, a similar incident occurred outside the same nightclub. A man who had just left the bar was stabbed in the stomach after four people jumped out of a car and attacked him.
The suspect in the sledgehammer attack is described as a Hispanic man in his 30s, wearing a hooded zip-up sweatshirt, Dickies pants and possibly a hat.
Police are continuing to search for the suspect.
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