DENVER (CBS4)– Police in Denver have arrested a man they believe attacked a woman in what the victim claims was a racially-motivated assault.
Jacqueline Fitzpatrick was attacked on South Broadway early in the morning on July 25 while she and her friends waited for an Uber ride. That’s when two Caucasian men approached them.
Fitzpatrick, 23, said two men approached her group when one of the men called her a racial slur and without warning, attacked. He struck her face three times before running away.
“I stood up to try and get them to go away. That’s when he hit me and I don’t remember much after that,” said Fitzpatrick.
Police arrested Christopher Derby, 27. He remains behind bars and could face felony charges for assault and a bias motivated crime. Police have requested his mug shot not be broadcast for his own protection in jail.
Derby has an extensive criminal history that includes several arrests for domestic assault.
Detectives say although Derby does have a violent past, he doesn’t have any ties to racist groups.
“As we looked into it further, investigators determined that while the suspect’s remarks to the victim were inappropriate, the assault does not appear to be bias motivated,” said Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman.
Police believe in this case, it simply appears that Derby had too much to drink and made some unfortunate comments as well as a lack of judgement.
Fitzpatrick disagrees, “I don’t think you should get away with hitting a girl and calling people racial slurs.”
The Denver District Attorney will decide what charges to pursue in the attack.