California Man In Custody After Attacking Black Man with Machete In Apparent Hate Crime

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Anthony Robert Hammond, 34, barricaded himself in his apartment following the attack. (Image courtesy of the Lake County Jail).

A California man faces several charges after stabbing a Black man with a machete in what police said appeared to be a racially motivated attack.

Anthony Robert Hammond of Clearlake, Calif., is currently being held at the Lake County Jail on $1 million bail on multiple felony charges including assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious bodily injury, aggravated mayhem and hate crime, Lake County News reported. Hammond also is facing two misdemeanor counts of battery on a person and obstructing or resisting a peace officer.

The incident is the latest in a string of race-based attacks against African-Americans in just the past few months.

Clearlake Police were dispatched to the Beachfront Apartments shortly before 8:15 p.m. Saturday, May 27, following reports of a Black male who had been stabbed with a machete. The victim told police that a white man, later identified as Hammond, had been shouting racial slurs at people in the parking lot of the complex shortly before he was attacked.

Police Sgt. Travis Lenz said Hammond briefly went into his apartment and returned holding a large machete. The 34-year-old continued shouting racial slurs at the soon-to-be victim before stabbing him in the shoulder, causing serious injury, according to Lenz.

The unnamed victim was transported from the scene by paramedics to a local area hospital. Meanwhile, Hammond fled back into his apartment, prompting law enforcement to evacuate the building and set up a perimeter around the apartment.

Officers peered through a window of Hammond’s apartment to find a man asleep on the sofa while the perpetrator tried to hide himself in a refrigerator, the police sergeant said. Hammond later fled to a back room.

Authorities said they were able to get the man on the sofa out of the apartment, but Hammond, who police believed to be armed with a pistol, refused to exit the unit.

Police finally persuaded Hammond to leave the apartment following an hours-long standoff, after which they took him into custody. Authorities then executed a search of the attacker’s residence where they found the machete used in the attack. No gun was recovered, though, according to Lenz.

On the way to the Lake County Jail, Hammond reportedly threatened to kill the transporting police and his family upon his release, the police sergeant also stated.

The California man’s machete attack comes just weeks after a similar incident where an African-American Bowie State University student was fatally stabbed by a white man with ties to the white nationalist movement. In March, a self-professed white supremacist also stabbed an elderly Black man to death in New York City.

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