Police are investigating the beating of a Muslim man in Sunnyvale last week as a hate crime and are seeking two suspects in the case.
At about 1 p.m. on Friday, the victim was on El Camino Real near Sycamore Terrace waiting for a friend to pick him up when two males approached him and asked if he was Jewish, Department of Public Safety Capt. David Verbrugge said.
"He said no, he was Muslim, and (one of the suspects) said something to the effect of 'you're a terrorist' and punched him several times in the face," Verbrugge said.
The victim suffered abrasions to his face, but his injuries were minor and he declined medical attention, Verbrugge said.
The suspects were described as in their late teens or early 20s. The one who punched the victim was described as white, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with dirty blond hair and a medium build. He was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
The second suspect was described as Hispanic with a medium build, dark hair and a mustache. He was wearing dark clothing.
Zahra Billoo, the programs and outreach director for the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the victim is a Sunnyvale resident in his mid-40s.
She said the assault marks the third anti-Muslim hate crime in Santa Clara County this year. There were none last year, she said.
"When things like this happen in the community, it has a larger effect," Billoo said. "It sends a message to other Muslims to really look out for themselves in their own neighborhood."
She said it is important that residents be vigilant about hate crimes because they affect everyone in the community.