Victim of hate crime continues to recover after brutal attack

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Anthony Pino still has several cuts and bruises after he was attacked by one of his neighbors in a southeast Albuquerque apartment complex.

Pino said last Monday he was going back to his apartment when he noticed one of his neighbors, who Pino and Albuquerque police have identified as Joshua Lopez, getting into an argument with another resident.

“Josh started stuff with her and he was calling her unfortunate things,” Pino said. “He went to throw a rock through her window.”

That’s when Pino stepped in to try and stop the altercation. Pino said he told Lopez to stop. As Pino was walking away, he said Lopez grabbed a large wooden stick and came up behind Pino.

“He cold clocked me and hit me in the back of the head,” Pino said, adding Lopez repeatedly hit him as hard as he could yelling homophobic slurs at him. Pino said, “He was screaming at me and using derogatory terms as he was hitting me.”

It ended when someone grabbed the stick from Lopez and police were called. Pino was taken to the hospital and Lopez was charged with a hate crime and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Lopez remains in custody at this time.

Other neighbors at the complex say Lopez has verbally attacked residents before. Nick Zajac said he has seen it happen, “[Lopez] has been a nightmare at this apartment complex ever since I’ve known him.”

While Pino’s bruises have started to heal, it’s what he is going through mentally that continues to get worse.  

“I’m having nightmares, I’m tossing and turning,” Pino said. “I don’t really want to talk to anyone, I’ve been self-isolating, I don’t want to be in public.”

Especially given that this isn’t the first time Pino said he was the victim a hate crime. He said it happened to him back in San Francisco when four men attacked him in 2000.

Lopez has a detention hearing this Friday where they will decide if he will remain behind bars before trial or not.