As a reminder that even the worse situation can get worse, the Santa Cruz Police Department is investigating an assault of a man walking his dog Saturday as a hate crime.
It happened at about 11:30 a.m. when two men were walking their dog and crossed path with a man and a woman who were also were walking their pet.
The dogs suddenly began barking and fighting and things then escalated between the pet owners, according to police.
The victim and his male partner said they were walking their dog in the 100 block of Blackburn Street when they passed a man and woman walking a dog.
A fight occurred between the two animals, and the male owner called the victim a homophobic slur. Police said both he and the woman then assaulted the victim and fled the scene.
His girlfriend is also accused of “aiding in the assault,” according to police. The victim sustained minor injuries.
Officers identified the suspects with the help of surveillance video, and both were arrested and booked into Santa Cruz County jail on charges of assault, conspiracy, and violation of one’s civil rights.