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LGBTQ+ community rallies at hate crime site

Members of the LGBTQ+ community rallied Tuesday in support of a hate crime victim.

Richard Schiwietz was punched in the left eye while walking arm-in-arm with another man on State St. two weeks ago.

Friends held a “Where It Happened” rally on Tuesday night on the corner of State Street and De La Guerra in Santa Barbara.

Patrick Lyra Kearns, an LGBTQ+ Outreach Advocate with the Pacific Pride Foundation, said he wants people who see something to say something.

Schiwietz spoke before a march and vigil about being bullied as a child. He said he felt safe in Santa Barbara until he was assaulted. He is recovering from a concussion and black eye.

The suspect, John Harlan Savala, 54, was arrested on hate crime after Schiwietz ran after him.

Some witnesses said spectators just watched what happened without getting involved, while others called 911.

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