UPS Driver Attack Declared Hate Crime

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Richmond police are investigating what has been reported as a hate  crime involving seven male suspects beating a UPS employee in a park in the  city, according to a sergeant.

The crime was reported at about 3 a.m. Jan. 24 at a park in the  3500 block of Morningside Drive, Sgt. Roger Buhlis said.

The UPS employee had left work and walked to a nearby gas station  where he asked around for a ride home, Buhlis said. A group of males offered  him a ride. The male suspects were drinking and the victim, who is black,  reportedly drank with them.

They stopped at a park and the UPS worker went to a restroom,  where he was struck in the back of the head by one of the suspects, Buhlis  said. The others then allegedly started assisting in the attack, yelling  racial epithets and fracturing the victim's face bones.

All seven suspects remained in custody today and at least one  person confessed to the crime, Buhlis said.

An administrative error at the police station caused a delay in  the reporting of the attack. Buhlis explained that the report had been  waiting for approval during the on-duty sergeant's day off and that the  detectives were not aware of it.

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