Three people have been arrested for an alleged hate crime after police say an African-American man was tied up and assaulted in San Bruno.
The incident was reported to police at 12:38 p.m. Thursday when a young man arrived at the San Bruno Police Department to report that three people had held him against his will, assaulted and threatened him.
Police found through an investigation that the victim was visiting his girlfriend at her home when her mother and stepfather arrived around 2 a.m. Thursday. They became angry and began assaulting him, police said. They then called her biological father to come help, authorities confirmed.
Two of the suspects, Wilfredo Amaya and Haydee Arguello, are San Bruno residents. The third suspect, Luisandor Suarez, is a San Francisco resident. All three suspects face a number of felonies, including hate crime, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats, police said.
The suspects restrained the man using a rope, assaulted him multiple times and threatened to kill him. The victim was later released and treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The victim said that during the attack the suspects, who are Hispanic, yelled multiple racial slurs at him. Police said the victim believes his race was a motivating factor in the attack.
All suspects have been booked into San Mateo County Jail.
The family said that race was not a factor in the incident. Katherine Gomez, the 15-year-old's sister, said that the her parents found the 17-year-old in the closet and didn't know who he was. She said he jumped out at them.
Gomez's sister said that her mother was hit in the face at that time.
Gomez said her parents were caught off guard.
"My step-dad held him and asked him 'who are you, we don't know who you are, what are you doing in my house?'" Gomez said.
In the backyard the family discovered a chair where the 17-year-old had apparently been coming and going from the house for two days before they discovered him.
"I'm upset about this. They're saying that this is a hate crime because he is African-American. It was nothing like that at all. We're not racist at all," Gomez said.
Anyone with information related to this crime is urged to contact the San Bruno Police Department at (650) 616-7100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can be left anonymously.