SAN JOSE (KCBS) — San Jose police are asking for the public’s help in solving a high-profile hate crime that happened late last year.

It was just before Thanksgiving Day that Atul Lall was driving out of a Lucky Supermarket parking lot in San Jose, when a gang of men attacked him, pulled him out of his car and smashed a bottle of Tequila over his head.

Lall, who is of East Indian descent, said his attackers called him a “terrorist,” in a very public space.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“I could hear cars, shopping carts and when I was in the store I saw how many people were there. I can’t believe nobody helped,” he said.

The 32-year-old industrial engineer is hoping that someone will help now by identifying his attackers.

Police Chief Chris Moore said San Jose has seen several similar crimes just recently, but that hate crimes were actually down last year compared to 2010.

“We need to get the message out that hate crime’s unacceptable and intolerable throughout this county and throughout the country,” Moore said.

Erin West specializes in hate crimes for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office.

“The reported hate crimes are down. We’re always concerned about what crimes are being committed that people are afraid to report and to come forward on,” she assessed.

The city is offering a $1,000 reward in the case.

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