A man has been arrested on hate crime charges for allegedly stabbing a victim while hurling anti-gay slurs at him in Paterson, New Jersey.
Damian Padilla, 42, of Paterson, faces charges of first-degree bias intimidation, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, reports the Paterson Times.
On Tuesday, May 16, at 3:48 a.m., police officers were flagged down on Fair Street, near the Fair Street Projects, by a 35-year-old male suffering from non-fatal stab wounds.
They responded to the scene and soon discovered a 41-year-old female victim suffering from a laceration to her left leg. Both victims were transported to Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center and treated for their injuries.
The male victim provided police with a description of the suspect, after which deputies from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department arrested Padilla a short time later based on that description.
During the investigation, authorities discovered that Padilla had allegedly hurled several anti-gay slurs at the victim while stabbing him multiple times.
Authorities have not said whether Padilla was responsible for stabbing the female victim.
Based on the seriousness of the charges, a Central Judicial Processing Court judge in Paterson ordered on Wednesday that Padilla remain held in Bergen County Jail while he awaits trial, reports the Daily Voice.
If convicted on the charges, Padilla could potentially face up to 20 years in prison for the bias intimidation charge, and up to 10 years on the aggravated assault charge. It remains to be seen whether prosecutors will attempt to have the sentences run concurrently or consecutively.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is asking anyone with additional information about the stabbings to contact the office via the tip line at 1-877-370-PCPO (7276) or via email at email@example.com, or to contact the Paterson Police Department Detective Bureau by calling (973) 321-1120.
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