Two men arrested for alleged hate crime in Hanford, police searching for others

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hanford Police are investigating an alleged hate crime after they say a man was viciously stabbed.

It happened early Saturday morning near the intersection of 11th Avenue and 7th Street.

After hurling homophobic slurs at a man outside a 7-11 early Saturday morning, Hanford police say 32-year-old Tony Abeyta was ready to fight.

"Mr. Abeyta actually got in like a fighting stance towards our victim, and the victim kind of got up and kind of bobbed and weaved a little bit, and then took off and left," said Police Lt. James Lutz.

Authorities say 37-year-old Keegan States was with Abeyta at the 7-11.

A couple of hours later, two more men joined the pair to confront the same guy who they found sitting outside the Buford Star Mart down the street.

Police say Abeyta stabbed the 61-year-old in the neck and near the ear and then took his stuff.

All four men ran from the scene, and the victim was rushed to Kaweah Delta Medical Center.

Police say he underwent surgery and is expected to recover.

Police believe Abeyta attacked him because of his sexual orientation based on the slurs he allegedly used.

Abeyta was arrested on Sunday and is facing attempted murder, robbery, and hate crime charges.

Police also tracked down States and arrested him on accessory charges.

They're still looking for 28-year-old Adrian Velasquez and another unidentified man.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact Hanford Police at 559-585-2540.
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