PETALUMA (CBS SF) – Petaluma police said Tuesday they are investigating the alleged assault of a 60-year-old white man by four to five black men earlier this month as a hate crime.

The assault occurred around 9 p.m. on March 9 when the alleged victim and his domestic partner were walking in the downtown Petaluma area near the intersection of Mary Street and Petaluma Boulevard North.

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The victim and his partner passed a parked green Honda Civic with the black men standing outside of it. According to police, one of the men around the car allegedly hurled profanity at the white man and referred to his race.

Police said the white man then saw one of the black men rushing at him, swinging his arms before the white man reportedly pinned him on the ground. The other black men around the car then approached the two and allegedly kicked the victim several times in the face before fleeing the scene, police said.

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The white man suffered a broken nose and left orbital bone, along with cuts and swelling on his face. His partner was uninjured.

The vehicle was described as having “611” among the digits of its rear license plate. A description of the suspects outside of their race wasn’t provided.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Petaluma Police Officer Ron Flores at (707) 778-4372.

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