Police Tuesday sought the public’s help in identifying two assailants accused in an attack that led to a man being severely injured in downtown Palm Springs.
The fight was reported at 1:42 a.m. Friday in the 400 block of East Arenas Road, according to the Palm Springs Police Department.
The victim remained in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon.
According to police, the fight began when the victim told another man on the street that he looked like actor Eddie Murphy. The comment led to a “physical confrontation” between the two men, police said.
After the fight, the suspect then chased the victim, and the victim subsequently slipped and hit his head on the pavement. The suspect then fled the scene, police said. The victim was rushed to an area hospital.
Police on Tuesday released surveillance still images that appeared to show another man at the scene. The two allegedly left in a black convertible, police said.
The fight occurred on a nightlife strip that features many LGBTQ bars, leading some on social media to question why police are not investigating the fight as a hate crime, according to police.
“We have seen social media rumors indicating this incident was a targeted hate crime. At this time, there is no reported information or evidence to suggest a hate crime occurred,” the department posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon.
The primary suspect was described as black man, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, wearing a light blue button-up shirt and white shorts. A description of the second man was not provided.
Witnesses were urged to call Detective Edman Escallada at 760-323-8129. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 760-341-7867.