A Los Angeles man was recently accused of and charged with carrying out three or potentially more hate-crime attacks that targeted gay men across the L.A. region, according to LA Times.
Joshua Ebow is accused of punching two of his victims and stabbing two others in a store and restaurants in Culver City, Inglewood and West L.A. Ebow was arrested in January after being linked to the stabbings. Upon further investigation, investigators found evidence for two attacks at a Shakey’s Pizza and an eatery called Jon & Vinny’s in Brentwood. Three of these incidents have been charged as hate-crime enhancements, as District Deputy Attorney Richard Ceballos said that the victims’ sexualities were motives for the attacks. Detectives believe that others may have been targeted by Ebow and are urging anyone with any information to come forward. Homophobic attacks are unfortunately not new but really? I just don’t understand someone’s sexual orientation being a reason to be attacked.
Ebow has previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on the new charges. If found guilty and convicted, he will face up to fourteen years imprisonment in state prison. He first came into light with the police after a stabbing was reported at a Five Guys in Westfield Culver City mall. The victim was slashed on his right hand before the assailant fled. Luckily, the attack was caught on the surveillance cameras. Four days later, a hospital patient reported that he was stabbed in the right arm at JCPenny. The surveillance footage from both of the stores revealed that the attacker was the same attacker for both of the attacks.
The police in Inglewood also identified Ebow as the attacker in an assault on Christmas Day at a Shakey’s Pizza. Ceballos said that Ebow is also accused of brandishing a weapon and battery on New Year’s Day in the aforementioned at the Jon & Vinny’s restaurant. So what we have here is a repeat assailant who targeted people over their sexuality. This definitely sounds like a string of hate crimes to me, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what the verdict is.
Ebow’s defense attorney expressed her concerns his (Ebow’s) “mental health status and cognitive capacity,” saying that he has a history of psychiatric hospitalization while he was serving in the Navy. However, records of his time in the Navy revealed that he only served for one month and never made it past the basic training program in Illinois. So will the judge and jury take his mental health status into consideration when reaching a conviction, or will they see these assaults as what they appear to be?
Source: LA Times