Southampton Town police are investigating a possible hate crime after a man said four men beat him Sunday night in Hampton Bays while yelling anti-Hispanic slurs.
The 23-year-old man told detectives he was walking in the vicinity of Atlantic Avenue about 8:40 p.m. when four men he described as white and in their 20s got out of a vehicle and began “striking and kicking him in the face,” according to a news release issued by police.
“It is very concerning to us that somebody would act out to this extreme,” said Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki. “We are pursuing this as a hate crime.”
Police said the victim was treated at a hospital and released. Skrynecki said there have been no similar assaults reported recently.
“We don’t see this as a pattern,” Skrynecki said.
Southampton police said they are investigating the incident along with the Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit and the Suffolk County district attorney’s office, and they urged anyone with information to contact Southampton police detectives at 631-702-2230 or Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
All calls will be kept confidential.
“Luckily, this guy is OK,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said of the victim. “This is something that will not be tolerated in this community. It’s very troubling.”