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Golden PD investigating assaults targeting homeless population

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- The Golden Police Department is investigating attacks targeting people who are homeless.

GPD said that early Wednesday morning, officers responded to a reported assault near 14th and Jackson streets. Two homeless men were attacked.

"They tell police that a white male approached them, then assaulted them with a blunt object as he yelled comments such as 'get out of my city/town'," GPD said in a press release.

Both men suffered injuries that are not life-threatening.

The attack occurred near the Colorado School of Mines. Campus police sent out alerts to nearby residents to inform them of the alleged attack.

GPD said the general public was not at risk, as the attack was targeted at homeless people.

Police said the suspect is described as a white male with blue eyes who is between 25 and 40 years old. He is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. He is estimated to weigh between 140 and 160 pounds.

The suspect was wearing dark clothing, a dark mask and used a blunt object in the attack.

GPD said investigators quickly linked the alleged assault to an unsolved case from January 2019 that occurred in the 1500 block of Ford Street, not far from Wednesday's incident.

In the January incident, two homeless people were also assaulted. Police say one victim was hit in the back of the neck with a blunt object and the suspect tried to tase victims with a stun gun.

Police say in both cases, the alleged attacker told the victims to "get out of my city/town."

"There is also reason to believe there may be other victims who have not yet reported the attacks to police," GPD said.

"This person has some sort of vendetta against that segment of our community," says GPD Deputy Chief Joe Harvey. "We want to do everything we can to protect them and make sure this person knows that kind of behavior won't be tolerated in this community."

Police believe the suspect is likely either a Golden resident or a frequent visitor to the town.

They're also planning on distributing flyers to the homeless community, telling them to keep a look out.

"Based on the person's statements of 'get out of my town, get out of my city,' we believe there's some kind of personal link to the city of Golden," Harvey said.

Darin Barton, who has been homeless in Golden for the past 6 years, says it's heartbreaking to see this happening.

"There's several of us that are homeless that are residents of this town, but we don't get treated like residents," he says. "We get treated like criminals. I hope Golden police find him and put him away for good."

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact GPD Sgt. Marcus Williams: 303-384-8116 or mwilliams@cityofgolden.net

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