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Canyon Country attack may have been hate crime

One arrested, three sought in unprovoked assault on black man

Posted: August 11, 2008 4:41 p.m.
Updated: October 12, 2008 5:02 a.m.
A Canyon Country man was arrested and three others are being sought for a possible hate crime that reportedly involved an unprovoked attack on a black man whose car was then vandalized in Canyon Country Saturday night, a Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said.

Cameron Campbell, 21 - who is white - was arrested on felony charges of vandalism and assault, said Lt. Brenda Cambra of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

The 26-year-old black man was reportedly sitting in a 1981 Ford Mustang in the 17900 block of Beneda Lane when he and a white female passenger were approached by a man who had stepped out of a nearby sport utility vehicle, Cambra said.

The suspect reportedly told the man "how another black man had disrespected him in front of his mother," Cambra said. "The suspect had never seen this guy before."

Another suspect reportedly approached the Mustang and punched the man in the face.

"The victim got out of his car and started running away from his car," she said. "The two suspects began chasing him and throwing rocks at him."

The woman, who was sitting with the man in the Mustang, got out of the car and called for help. She was not injured.

The victim sustained a cut on his lip.

Two other suspects reportedly stepped out of the SUV and "got a hammer and a bat and smashed all the windows and the quarter panels" of the Mustang, causing an estimated $2,000 in damage, Cambra said.
When deputies arrived at about 6:30 p.m., Campbell reportedly tried to flee by jumping a wall, but encountered several deputies who arrested him.

Campbell was booked at the Sheriff's Station on felony vandalism and assault charges, and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime because of the race of the alleged victim, Cambra said. It was unclear Monday what Campbell's alleged role in the attack was.

He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

The three other suspects are still at large and are described as male Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 24.

Anyone with information can contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station at (661) 255-1121.


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