Woman attacks 4-year-old at Wal-Mart in apparent hate crime

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A woman struck a 4-year-old girl in the head with a crowbar at a San Jose Wal-Mart, in what police believe is a hate crime.


Photo: San Jose Police Department

Maria Garate, who is suspected to be homeless, entered the store and approached an Asian father and daughter, who were shopping. She hit the girl with a crowbar she hid in a duffel bag and tried to hit her again, but the father stopped her and was hit as well.

The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office has evidence that led it to believe Garate targeted the girl because of her race. The San Jose Police Department charged her with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, both with a hate crime allegation.

The girl was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Garate allegedly told police she was upset the child did not die.

Garate is being held without bail and is due in court May 23.

See the Los Angeles Times for more on this story.

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  • Duh

    All this hate crime is a bunch of crap to appease all identifiable minorities. You don't need motive to charge some one with a crime and lock them up accordingly. It is just as bad to attack a white person as it is a black person. But not making it worse to attack a black is not politically correct.

    • J.Miller

      You're clearly ignorant about the purpose for hate crime legislation. Hate crime legislation has nothing to do with appeasing minorities as it protects white people just as much as black people or any other people. Nowhere in the law does it say that it's worse to attack a black person than a white person. For the most part, legally, the race of the victim or perpetrator makes no difference. The only time it makes a difference is if someone is attacked because of his race. That makes it a hate crime. If a black man attacks a white man because he's white and he hates white people that's a hate crime. On the other hand, if a white man attacks a black man because they're in a drunken argument it's not a hate crime. It's just good ol' assault and there is nothing politically incorrect about that.

  • J.Miller

    I find it highly unlikely that this is a hate crime and I can't believe that the police think it is. This woman is quite clearly mentally ill and this irrational attack on a strange 4-year old is quite likely a result of her illness. This is not the action of a sane person.