Crime - Sacto 911

Man arrested in alleged midtown Sacramento hate crime

A man is behind bars after allegedly uttering a racial slur and hitting a woman early Saturday in downtown Sacramento.

Police responded to the 1300 block of G Street at 2:41 a.m. after receiving a report of an assault. Suspect Jose Alvarez Espinoza, 34, allegedly used a racial slur before allegedly battering the victim, a woman in her mid-30s who was in a wheelchair.

“They were outdoors on a sidewalk and had crossed each other’s path,” said Officer Justin Brown, a Sacramento police spokesman.

The victim and suspect did not know each other, according to police. The alleged victim suffered minor injuries but declined to be transported to a hospital. Brown added that alcohol was likely a factor because police found the suspect to be intoxicated.

Espinoza faces three felony charges of assault, making willful threats and attempted offense because of race, color or religion. Brown declined to disclose the race of the alleged victim.

According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Espinoza had several outstanding warrants related to alcohol use, including drinking in a prohibited area and an open container on public property.

He remains at the Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of more than $500,000 in bail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

The alleged incident occurred less than a week after three Sacramento musicians at 21st and O streets in midtown were stabbed in an alleged hate crime involving epithets based on sexual orientation, according to police. In that case, police arrested 25-year-old Timothy Brownell.