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Sacramento Man To Be Charged For Hate Crime in Assault of Gay Man

Suspect Joel Olivarez
The Elk Grove Police Department has arrested 30-year-old Joel Olivarez, a Sacramento resident, for an aggravated battery that took place on June 5, in the parking lot of the Strike’s Family Entertainment Center.

Detectives believe that Joel Olivarez confronted 26-year-old Sacramento resident Seth Parker in the Strike’s parking lot. Olivarez then punched Mr. Parker in the face after a verbal argument and fled the area with a second individual.

As a result of the punch, Mr. Parker suffered several facial fractures.

During the course of the investigation, detectives received information through Crime Alert that identified Joel Olivarez as the person responsible for the attack. Detectives were also able to identify and locate the second person captured on surveillance footage, who is being considered a witness at this time.

Based on information obtained during the course of the investigation, detectives have determined that Olivarez was responsible for punching Parker. Detectives have also categorized this assault as a hate crime and an aggravated battery.

Upon completion of the investigation, the report will be forwarded to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Because it is an ongoing investigation, a booking photo of Olivarez will not be released.

Elk Grove Police Chief Robert M. Lehner issued the following statement regarding the arrest:

“Hopefully, this investigation and arrest will serve as a message to those who not only would commit a criminal act but would do so motivated by hate or bias," Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner said in a written statement. "When a crime is committed that may have been motivated by hate, that possible element will be thoroughly investigated and, if proved, will be added to the basic underlying criminal charge.

Although an arrest has been made, this investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Elk Grove Police Department Detective Bureau at (916) 478-8060 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357). Callers to Crime Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Tips can also be sent via SMS text message by entering CRIMES (274637) on a cell phone, followed by Tip732 (agency identification number) and the message.

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