Hate Crime Predators Still on the Loose

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 6:40pm

Early Wednesday morning in Valle del Sol Park detectives say a van with four men pulled up.

They demanded money from an elderly man.

The 70 year-old man was walking in this park when the three men took him, beat him and sexually assaulted him, but neighbors in this area say they still feel safe.

Socorro police say the four men screamed racial slurs at the Hispanic man during the attack and neighbors are still in shock.

"I can't believe that. I never thought that would happen in this neighborhood at all. Maybe some other part of town, but not here. That's really really bad," Esparza said.

They beat the man so badly that he needed surgery last night. he's in serious condition.

A neighbor, Javan Esparza walks around the park every day.
"I haven't had any problems here. I come here by myself all of the time. I see kids and families around. I feel pretty safe here," Esparza said.

And even after the vicious attack, he says he'll continue to come here.

"Not really. I was in the military so I think I can handle myself pretty well. I'm a pretty big guy, nobody really messes with me, but I will be more aware, watching over my shoulder a little bit more," Esparza said.

David Garcia from Socorro Police says, police don't know whether the group men will attack again.

"They're out there and we really want someone to turn these people in and get these predators off of our streets. Whether it's Socorro streets or El Paso streets these are four predators that took advantage of a 70 year-old man," Garcia said.

Now, police are asking for your help.

"Our hope is that people have seen these four guys together, four guys in a black or a navy blue van are not easy to disguise," Garcia said.

The men were driving a late 90's Ford or Chevrolet dark colored mini-van.
If you have any information, please call police.


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