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Assault of Calabasas boy is not being investigated as a hate crime

November 23, 2009 |  8:43 am

Authorities said today that an assault on a 12-year-old Calabasas boy who was allegedly targeted by his fellow middle school students because of his red hair is not being investigated as a hate crime.

The attack on the boy occurred at A.E. Wright Middle School by as many as 14 classmates, police said. The incident may have been motivated by a Facebook message on Friday saying it was "Kick a Ginger Day."

However, the incident does not meet the criteria of a hate crime, said Lt. Scott Chew of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"This doesn't apply," he said.

"Ginger" is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin. It gained notoriety from a 2005 episode of "South Park," an animated comedy show with adult humor, in which "gingers" were picked on.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was kicked and hit with fists in various areas of the body, police said. His injuries were not severe. 

No arrests were made in the attack. Detectives are investigating the incident as a possible assault with a deadly weapon. 

-- Baxter Holmes