DAVIS, CA - The victim of a presumed hate crime is speaking out, hoping what happened to him will never happen to anyone else.
Mikey Partida, 32, of Davis, was leaving a relative's home early Sunday morning when a man started harassing him and calling him a gay slur.
Partida ignored the man and kept walking.
"I was just trying to make the right choice in a bad situation," he said from his hospital bed at the UC Davis Medical Center.
Unfortunately, Partida forgot his keys and had to go back, that's when the suspect attacked.
"I heard him, personally, yelling slurs at him," Partida's cousin Vanessa Turner said. "I know it was unprovoked."
"He just continued, getting closer and closer, and then he just punched me," Partida explained.
The slur used begins with the letter "F" and is a nasty term for homosexuals. Partida said the attacker was saying it over and over again while beating him.
"Pretty loud and proud about it," Partida said. "He just kept fighting me and fighting me until I blacked out. And then I came to and was here."
Doctors expect Partida to be just fine. Miraculously, his visible injuries are the worst of it. But Partida said what really hurts is the hate portion of the crime, the intolerance.
And what Turner said happened after the attack just proves the ignorance.
"From what I understand, he knocked on the door to brag about what he had done," Turner explained.
Davis police Lt. Glenn Glasgow said police are investigating this as a hate crime and have identified a suspect. He said they hope to make an arrest as soon as possible.
UPDATE STORY: Hate crime arrest made in Davis attack
The difference between a hate crime and a hate incident is sure to be key when this case moves to court. The hate portion of the incident must be the primary reason for the crime to be considered a hate crime.
For example, if Partida was truly attacked because he is gay, it's a hate crime. If he was attacked for another reason and then called a gay slur, it's a hate incident.
Another example is if a white driver and a black driver get into an accident. If the white man assaults the black man because of the accident, and then calls him a racial slur, it would be considered a hate incident.
By Nick Monacelli, firstname.lastname@example.org