Police are looking for a man suspected of assaulting an elderly man at an Irvine school last week after their dogs were involved in an altercation.
A 69-year-old man was walking his tiny dog at Sierra Vista Middle School on Friday at 7 p.m. when he spotted a much larger, off-leash husky who was believed to be dating a young man who was kicking a soccer ball, said the Irvine police in a statement.
When the husky approached, police said the older man picked up his dog to avoid conflict, but lost control of his leash and the two animals began to fight.
When the man tried to separate the dogs, the younger man hit him in the back of the head, police said. The victim was treated in a hospital for injuries.
The police received surveillance footage of the incident and put it online.
Irvine police said they had not identified a motive but had not ruled out “the possibility that this could be a hate crime”.
The victim is Asian but the suspect made no racist comments during the attack, Sgt. Karie Davies, an Irvine police spokeswoman, told the Orange County Register.
“Until we can find [the suspect] and talk to him, we don’t know the motivation, ”said Davies.
Irvine police described the suspect as a late teenager and “darker complexion”. He was last seen in a dark t-shirt over a white long-sleeved shirt, dark shorts over white leggings or shin guards, and a white backpack.
The Irvine police asked anyone with information about the incident to contact Det. Gavin Hudson at (949) 724-7168 or [email protected]