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Rochester Police file hate crime and other charges after two incidents this week

File photo
James Brown
File photo

Rochester Police are investigating an incident that happened this week as a hate crime.

They say on Tuesday, June 11, an individual who was walking along the 700 block of Monroe Avenue saw a vehicle that appeared to be following him. The vehicle accelerated and drove toward the victim, who police say ran into the place he worked at.

Officials say the suspect got out of the vehicle and followed the individual inside and then struck him multiple times, while yelling homophobic slurs and then leaving the area in his car. That victim was treated for a non-life threatening upper body injury.

Then, about 45 minutes later, RPD responded to the Price Rite supermarket on University Ave. for the report of a pedestrian hit by a vehicle. They found that a male pedestrian in his 40s was struck by a car. That victim was taken to the hospital for what appeared to be a non-life threatening upper body injury.

An investigation led to the arrest of 29-year-old Alexander Ortiz, who is a suspect in both incidents.

He faces charges that include assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the Monroe Ave. incident, with that assault charge designated as a hate crime, which is a felony.

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Ortiz was also charged with failing to report a collision involving physical injury and another count of reckless endangerment and police say he was also served with an outstanding bench warrant for harassment involving a previous incident.

Ortiz was arrested on Thursday afternoon and taken to the county jail.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.