supermarket hate crime victim comes forward

Late last year, I wrote about a South Asian man in San Jose who was the victim of a vicious hate crime outside of a supermarket. Now, the man has come forward to speak out about the attack: SJ hate crime victim talks about attack.

32-year-old Atul Lall was assaulted by a group of men while he was leaving a Lucky's store on November 21. They broke his jaw, knocked out his teeth and called him a "terrorist." Last week, police released the first sketch of one of the suspects, and are asking for the public's help in finding Lall's attackers:
Lall says he now lives in pain and fear. It's all because of a trip he made to a Lucky's store Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. Three men approached his car as he was leaving.

"They started hitting me and then they started calling me a terrorist," Lall said. "They spit on me, they poured alcohol on me and then a third member came out of nowhere when it looked like I was going to defend myself."

Lall lost six teeth, has a scarred jaw and two titanium plates in his face holding his jaw together. That injury, he says, was caused by a bottle of tequila, which his attackers dropped into the car after hitting him in the face.

"I firmly believe that if the bottle hadn't gotten stuck they would have used it again and would not have stopped until I was unconscious or perhaps even dead," Lall said.
What makes the attack even worse is that it happened just days before Thanksgiving, the supermarket was busy with shoppers, and it all happened just a few feet away from the store entrance -- yet no one came forward to help Lall.

The suspect in the police sketch is described as a Hispanic male, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9, weighing about 200 pounds. Anyone who was in the South White Road's Lucky's parking lot at about 9:00pm on November 21, 2011 and saw the attack is asked to call San Jose police.

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