Lakewood man attacked with bat in possible bias crime

July 30, 2013 2:15:09 PM PDT
Authorities say a man was attacked by eight men with a baseball bat in Lakewood in what could be a bias crime.

At the Lakewood Police station, investigators say they're actively pursuing the suspects, all eight of them, and looking into this as a bias attack.

The man who was beaten, who spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News, says he's lucky he wasn't killed.

"I got hit with the beer bottle here, and when I was coming back up, they caught me this way with the bat," said Steve Conti, victim.

It was an unfair fight, eight against one and the attackers had a baseball bat.

"We walked down the road and there was a group of people standing off to the side. I didn't think much about it. I notice they were staring at me," Conti said.

26-year-old Steve Conti was walking his 7-year-old pit bull Missy outside his home Saturday night when he says he was approached by eight Hispanic men who started shouting racial slurs.

"I heard them talking saying, 'look at this white boy,'" Conti said.

Before he knew it, Conti says he was under attack.

One of the men was wielding a weapon.

"Got punched, caught my balance again, and on the way back up I got hit in the side of the face with a bat," Conti said.

In the melee, Missy the pit bull got kicked and she ran away scared.

Conti says she hasn't been the same since.

Neither has his fiancée who's eight months pregnant with a girl.

"I don't want to be here by myself. I'm scared because I don't know if they're going to come back and try to do something to our cars," said Jillian Corbett, the victim's fiancée.

A Good Samaritan neighbor helped break-up the fight and Conti says that's when his attackers fled in their cars.

Minus a concussion and some nasty bruises, he was released from the hospital in good condition.

"I got my first baby on the way so I kind of want to be there for that," Conti said.

Police say they recovered the bat used in the attack as well as the car the suspects fled in.

Now they have to find the suspects.

Conti says one of the attackers had a long dark pony tail and the sides of his head were shaved.