Police investigate violent street attack as hate crime

Police are investigating a violent attack in Darlington Monday night as a hate crime, according to a news release.

The Darlington Police Department said officers responded to a report of someone who was injured in an assault at 10:30 p.m. in the 500 block of East Louisa Street.

A 29-year-old Darlington man was walking on Louisa Street when two white males approached him, striking him in the face several times and knocking him to the ground, according to the report. One of the assailants allegedly displayed a knife, cut the victim’s shirt and left a small laceration on his stomach.

The victim was walking to the store when the attackers allegedly told the man he should go back to Honduras, police said.

Officials said the victim and the two attackers had never met before.

“We don’t like to hear of this at all,” Darlington police Chief Jason King said. “Hurting other human beings is illegal for a reason, but to do it for no reason at all other than you don’t like their ethnicity or race is especially troublesome.”

The victim reportedly suffered a concussion, and was taken to Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County for treatment.

One assailant was described as a white man, short and stocky. The other was tall, skinny and had facial hair. Both men were in their 20s. They fled the scene in a red, newer-model, two-door car, police said. The car was driven by a third man, described only as white. The car was observed leaving Darlington on Highway 81 East.

The Darlington Police Department is investigating the matter as a hate crime because of racial epithets directed at the victim during the attack. Police asked anyone with information about the crime to call the department at 776-4981.