MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KRON) — A man was arrested in connection to a hate crime Sunday afternoon in Mountain View, city officials announced in a news release. Police said the incident happened around 4 p.m. at a Dollar Tree in the area of E Middlefield Road where the suspect punched another man inside the store.
The suspect was identified as 59-year-old Rafael Ponce who police say is a homeless man. Ponce allegedly called him a derogatory term based on his sexual orientation before he punched the victim in the face, according to a police investigation.
After Ponce hit the victim, he refused to comply to officers and tried to run away from the scene on a bicycle. Police eventually caught up to Ponce along the Stevens Creek Trail, which is approximately 0.7 miles away, where he was arrested without incident.
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Ponce was arrested on suspicion of a hate crime, battery, and resisting arrest, police said. He was booked into Santa Clara County Jail.