Police are searching for a man who threw gasoline onto two customers after confronting them because they were speaking Spanish and ‘don’t belong here.’
During a July 23 encounter, the man approached two Spanish speaking customers inside a gas station and told them they ‘don’t belong here,’ police in Aurora, Colorado said.
The suspect then followed the two customers out to their car and used a fuel pump to douse them with gasoline. He then allegedly ‘looked for a lighter to set them aflame, police said.
When he was unsuccessful, he used a rock to break the rear window of their car, took their keys and left the gas station.
A clerk at the gas station, Kyla Huber, told KDVR that the suspect was buying beer when he approached the victims.
‘It threw me off a little bit because the gentleman, he was, “Yes ma’am, no ma’am,” to me. He was respectful looking me straight in the eye. But as soon as he stepped outside he was aggressive and angry,’ Huber said.
Police are still investigating the incident, which took place at 11pm at the Rocket Gast Station on Havana Street, and believe it was a hate crime. No arrests have been made.
‘Detectives are investigating this as a bias-motivated crime and need your help to identify the suspect,’ the Aurora Police Department said in a statement.
Police described the man as in his early to mid-20s and as either Hispanic or Asian. He is around five foot six or five foot seven, police said.
Statements from the victims and accounts from witnesses, as well as surveillance video, have helped police piece together what occurred.
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