KENNESAW, Ga. -- Police are investigating an incident where a Hispanic man claims he was attacked by two white men outside a Kennesaw restaurant last week in an alleged hate crime.
According to the police report, Humberto Sanchez said he began the evening at Buzzy's Grille on Cobb Parkway. He and an unidentified friend then took a Lyft to Subourbon Bar on Summers Street.
Sanchez told police his friend left prior to him leaving the bar. As Sanchez left Subourbon on foot, heading toward Cobb Parkway, he said two white men, about 6 feet tall with blonde or brown hair, got out of a car and approached him, calling him racist names and accusing him of being "part of the cartel," the report said.
Sanchez said the men hit him on the head from behind and cut his right cheek. He could not identify the car or the men.
Sanchez then said he ran back to Buzzys and drove home. His brother then drove him to Kennestone Hospital.
Police said Sanchez was heavily intoxicated while he was being interviewed by officers, and changed his account several times.
While police are trying to figure out what happened and find possible suspects, 11Alive asked police why they are calling this a hate crime if there’s no law here in Georgia.
Lt. Craig Graydon mentioned the federal Hate Crime Statistics Act which requires the Attorney General to collect data "about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity."
Graydon also said there's always the possibility this case could be prosecuted on a federal level.
11Alive Investigator Rebecca Lindstrom has done a lot of digging into how many hate crimes haven’t been reported.
As of February, she found out of the 39 hate crimes that were reported in Georgia. In 2017, 25 of them were from Cobb County and that's only because Cobb is one of the few agencies that track and report hate crimes.
According to the Department of Justice, law enforcement reports about 6,000 hate-related crimes every year, but according to victims that were surveyed by the same agency, there are more than 250,000 hate crimes that happen each year.