APD investigates assault that could be a hate crime
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The victims of a weekend assault say the attack on them was a hate crime.
Andrew Oppleman, 49, says he was waiting in line to get pizza just after midnight Friday near Fourth and Colorado streets when a man attacked his friend. When Oppleman tried to intervene, the attacker turned on him, punching him in the face and mouth.
"And I don't think people wanted to tell me, but once I got to the hospital, I realized I lost eight teeth,” Oppleman said. “So the whole thing was horrific, and then at that point, his friend stood there laughing."
Police say the attacker ran away, but his friend was too drunk to run and was taken into custody on public intoxication charges.
Police are investigating the attack as an aggravated assault and will look at certain "bias indicators" to help prosecutors decide whether it constitutes a hate crime.