By Matt Kroschel
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– Two men have been charged with bias motivated crime and assault for an alleged attack on a bicyclist that was captured on cellphone video.
George Justin Howard and Raymond Joseph Soliz were arrested for their alleged roles in the attack in Breckenridge last month during the town’s Oktoberfest celebration.
The cellphone video shows the unidentified victim on a bicycle as he was knocked off by a man police believe is Raymond Joseph Soliz. Then the video shows the bicyclist being punched by a man police claim is George Justin Howard.
Investigators believe the attack was preceded by a harassment incident inside a bar in downtown Breckenridge where Howard and Soliz made insulting remarks toward the victim and one even “flicked” his ear.
It was later that same day when the defendants and the victim allegedly crossed paths again and the attack happened.
“Why it is that some people act so much more angrily when they’re attacking somebody because of their sexual orientation is really hard to know, but it’s always very disturbing when we see these types of cases,” 5th District Attorney Bruce Brown said.
Brown said the witnesses who provided the video evidence should be commended.
“It will be important evidence as the case goes forward, and what we are so impressed with is citizens who have the presence of mind, when they see something happen, to keep themselves out of harm’s way but yet to take footage and turn it over to police — that’s just critical,” he said.
CBS4’s Matt Kroschel contacted the attorneys for the suspects but the lawyers did not return calls for comment.