Hate Crime Rears its Ugly Head

Culver City Mall Incident Part of Attack on LGBTQ Community

Joshua Immanuel Ebow, 30, of Los Angeles a former delivery driver pleaded not guilty Monday to charges stemming from a series of alleged hate crime attacks on men in Culver City, West Los Angeles and Inglewood.

Ebow, allegedly committed the crimes because he perceived the victims to be gay or members of the LGBTQ community, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Ebow, who has remained jailed at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in lieu of $135,000 bail since his Jan. 3 arrest, is due back in court on Feb. 14, when a preliminary hearing date is expected to be set.

The DA added the news charges last week in what has been recategorized as alleged hate crimes which target gay men across the Los Angeles region. Authorities now believe there may be additional victims.

The attacks which occurred in West Los Angeles, Culver City and Inglewood were originally thought to be random have turned out to be connected as part of a larger spree victimizing members of the LGBTQ community. This is according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

On December 29, Culver City police officers were flagged down outside of Five Guys Restaurant at the Mall by patrons who reported a man had just been stabbed. Officers located the victim, but the suspect had already fled the scene.

On January 2, local officers were called to Kaiser Hospital regarding a stabbing which occurred earlier in the day at JCPenney within the mall. Officers met with the victim who indicated he was stabbed in the right arm by an unknown male suspect while entering the store.

After reviewing surveillance footage from the JCPenney incident, Culver City police detectives were able to identify the suspect as the same individual in the previous attack four days earlier.

Ebow allegedly attacked a man and brandished a knife at a pizza restaurant in Inglewood on Christmas Day, and allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed a man at a fast-food restaurant in Culver City on Dec. 29, according to the District Attorney's Office.

He is also charged with using a knife to assault a man in West Los Angeles on Jan. 1.

Ebow offered a full confession to Culver City Police Department Detectives.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office subsequently added two felony counts of battery and one felony count of exhibiting a deadly weapon, along with a misdemeanor charge of exhibiting a deadly weapon. The charges include allegations that Ebow committed a hate crime in three of the alleged attacks.

Culver City Councilman Daniel Lee, who spearheaded the move to create an Equity and Human Relations Committee offered the following comments, "The events at Westfield and in surrounding areas were perpetrated by someone who is part of the larger LA community and not our local Culver City community. However, the Equity and Human Relations Committee ideally would take into account the number and frequency of events like this and work with the community to create events that foster understanding. Though it is my hope that the committee can work in a preventive manner and not just react to events but prevent them from happening."

Ebow has remained jailed since his arrest on January 3 in El Segundo and was arraigned on Monday February 3 on $185,000 bail. His next court appearance will be on February 14.


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