EL CERRITO — Police investigators on Thursday shared a photo of a suspect wanted in connection with last week’s assault on a local store employee that is being investigated as a hate crime.

El Cerrito Police released this photo on Thursday, November 17, 2022 of a man wanted in connection with the November 9 hate att*ck on a store employee in El Cerrito, California (courtesy of the El Cerrito Police Department)

In a statement, police said an employee working at an unidentified store around 6:30 p.m. on November 9 spoke to a man they described as a common shoplifter.

After the man “became confrontational and verbally aggressive,” the employee called 911 to file a report. After the man used “offensive language that was based on the employee’s perceived gender”, the man punched the employee and fled.

Police initially described the man as African American, approximately 38 years old, 6 feet 3, heavyweight, weighing approximately 250 to 260 pounds, bald, wearing a black jacket, pants and boots with a white face mask.

On Thursday, police released an image of the man, which appears to be from footage from the store’s surveillance cameras. Police did not respond to a request for more information about the incident, including the location of the store.

Anyone with information can call the non-emergency El Cerrito police number at 510-237-3233 and ask to speak to an officer or email researchs@ci.el-cerrito.ca. us.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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