Police arrest man accused of hate crime attack on trolley

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SAN DIEGO — A man was arrested Thursday after allegedly attacking a family from Afghanistan on a trolley in the Grantville neighborhood last month, police said.

Robert Compton, 48, is accused of assaulting a man on a San Diego Trolley just before noon on Feb. 26. The 41-year-old victim recently moved to San Diego from Afghanistan with his family and was getting a tour of the city from a Catholic charity organization, the San Diego Police Department said.

According to police, Compton is accused of approaching the family while on the trolley and saying, “Go back to where you came from, I hate you.” He is also accused of threatening to kill the family and punching the 41-year-old man in the face, the SDPD said.

The victim suffered fractures to his face, Lt. Shawn Takeuchi with the SDPD said. Police began investigating the incident as a hate crime once it was reported.

Compton was arrested Thursday along the 800 block of Market Street in the East Village, Takeuchi said. He was identified as a suspect in the incident with help from Smart Street Lights data, according to the SDPD.

Compton has also been connected to an unrelated felony battery charge on Feb. 28, Takeuchi said.

Compton is facing felony battery and hate crime charges for the incident on the trolley, police said.

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