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SDPD makes arrest in alleged hate-crime assault on LGBTQ group at Mission Beach bonfire

San Diego police have arrested a 20-year-old man on suspicion of a hate-crime assault on a group of LGBTQIA+ people earlier this week in Mission Beach.

Jose Carlos Irra was arrested Thursday on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, San Diego police Capt. Scott Wahl said in a news release Friday. Online jail records indicate the weapon was not a gun.

Irra was also arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime and brandishing a firearm, Wahl said. Jail records showed he remained in custody Friday evening in the downtown San Diego Central Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Police arrested Irra two days after seeking help from the public to identify the two men who allegedly assaulted and harassed the group of about 25 mostly LGBTQIA+ people Monday night at a bonfire. Wahl said Friday that police received several tips that led investigators to identify Irra as a suspect.

According to police and witnesses, the men shouted homophobic slurs at the group throughout the confrontation, which happened around 11:35 p.m. Monday on the beach and boardwalk area south of Belmont Park.

One of the assailants threw a large beer can at one member of the group, hitting her in one of her eyes, police said. Another assailant pointed a handgun at the head of another person at the bonfire.

One witness wrote in a social media post that the ordeal began when a man approached the group and asked to sit with them. When members of the group told him they were having a private celebration, the man left. Shortly afterward, someone threw a full can of beer toward the people at the bonfire.

A person from the group, who asked not to be identified, said the assailants threw several more bottles and cans of beer at her and her friends. When asked to leave the group alone, the men pulled out cellphones and started to record.

“Throughout this, they were yelling homophobic slurs at us and threatening to rape us,” she said. One of the men threw a 24-ounce Modelo tall boy can at her from “less than 10 (feet) away,” she said. It struck her left eye and caused her to drop to the ground.

Photos shared on social media and with the Union-Tribune on Tuesday showed her eye bloodied, bruised and badly swollen.

One of the assailants pulled out a black, Glock-style handgun and pointed it at the head of a man from the bonfire group, Wahl said Tuesday in a news release.

The woman hit by the beer can said the men left in cars, continuing to hurl homophobic insults as they left. She said she believed it was “clearly a targeted attack.”

Wahl did not say whether Irra was the man suspected of hitting the woman in the face with the beer can or pointing the gun at the man’s head.

Anyone with information about the second attacker’s identity was asked to call the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division at (858) 552-1726 or Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.



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