Attacks against Palm Springs Men Are Not Considered Hate Crimes - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Palm Springs

Attacks against Palm Springs Men Are Not Considered Hate Crimes

Posted: Updated:
Palm Springs, CA -

The attack happened in broad daylight last Tuesday, as Andrew Vandekrol took his daily walk down East Belding Drive.

"I felt a big blow behind my neck and i went right to the ground," he said.

His phone was in one hand, vulnerability in the other.

"My phone slid into the street and within seconds the person who did that to me, just grabbed the phone jumped in the car, it all happened within maybe five seconds," said Vandekrol.

He was in shock, in disbelief but not seriously hurt.

Story: Gal Gadot to be Honored With Rising Star Award at 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival

"I grabbed a handful of gravel where I fell and kind of threw it at the car," he said.

It wasn't enough though, as the suspects got away. Palm Springs Police are considering it a robbery and Vandekrol doesn't believe he was targeted because of his sexual orientation.

"I think it was just a random act, I was in a perfect spot on a little side street not paying attention with my phone on my ear," he said.

Two days before, Robert Shanahan says he was a random target as well but in downtown Palm Springs.

"I'm still a little bruised, kind of swelling," he said.

It was the end of Pride weekend on Sunday night. Shanahan and his partner were heading back to their car from Arenas Road.

"We were walking along Indian Canyon to the public parking building and all of the sudden I hit the ground," said Shanahan.

Story: Lisa Middleton Makes History After Palm Springs City Council Win

He thought he tripped but the pain he says was more than just a fall. His partner quickly called 911 and tried to confront the suspects before the took off.

"They asked him if he wanted to be hit also or something along those lines," said Shanahan.

Police and the victims involved all agree on one thing, these aren't hate crimes but there is reason to be concerned.

"I still think Palm Springs is a safe place to live and visit, however you always have to be aware," he said.

In the back of Vandekrol's mind, his attack will always be there but not enough to control his emotions.

"be aware and be vigilant and don't let fear stop you from living your life," said Vandekrol.

A third incident took place along Palm Canyon Drive where a man says he was waiting for the Buzz bus when he was attacked by an unknown man. He tells KMIR News he suffered a fractured nose, lacerations, two chipped teeth, bruised ribs and a crushed hand.

Right now, Palm Springs Police are actively investigating all three incidents and are asking for the public's help in tracking down any suspects involved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Cathedral City

    Unsolved Candy Cane Lane Shooting Haunts Mother

    Unsolved Candy Cane Lane Shooting Haunts Mother

    Friday, November 17 2017 10:32 PM EST2017-11-18 03:32:48 GMT

    This should be a happy time of year for Roxanne, she has a beautiful baby girl, a boyfriend she loves, but this time of year brings back horrible memories.  "I woke up to no David, no baby it was horrible, it was the most horrible thing I could ever experience," she says. On December 19, 2015, Roxanne was days away from giving birth to her first child, a baby boy. She and her then boyfriend 38-year-old David Chavez, did what many do during the holidays, went for a dri...

    This should be a happy time of year for Roxanne, she has a beautiful baby girl, a boyfriend she loves, but this time of year brings back horrible memories.  "I woke up to no David, no baby it was horrible, it was the most horrible thing I could ever experience," she says. On December 19, 2015, Roxanne was days away from giving birth to her first child, a baby boy. She and her then boyfriend 38-year-old David Chavez, did what many do during the holidays, went for a dri...

  • Bermuda Dunes

    Local Gun Supporter Destroys AR-15

    Local Gun Supporter Destroys AR-15

    Friday, November 17 2017 2:14 PM EST2017-11-17 19:14:17 GMT
    Chad Vachter has always loved guns. "I think everyone has a right to defend their home, their way of life," he said. Vachter has been a supporter of The Second Amendment since he was young. "I first got into guns when I was a kid hunting with my father," he added. Related: Gun Safety Saves Lives During Holidays Among his prized weapons is an AR-15, but not anymore. Vachter decided to destroy his AR-15 with a sledge hammer. Blow by blow, the semi-au...
    Chad Vachter has always loved guns. "I think everyone has a right to defend their home, their way of life," he said. Vachter has been a supporter of The Second Amendment since he was young. "I first got into guns when I was a kid hunting with my father," he added. Related: Gun Safety Saves Lives During Holidays Among his prized weapons is an AR-15, but not anymore. Vachter decided to destroy his AR-15 with a sledge hammer. Blow by blow, the semi-au...
  • Man Accused in Decades-Old Desert Hot Springs Murder of Teen in Custody

    Man Accused in Decades-Old Desert Hot Springs Murder of Teen in Custody

    Friday, November 17 2017 11:55 PM EST2017-11-18 04:55:23 GMT

    A man accused of gunning down a Desert Hot Springs teen more than two decades ago was in custody Friday in a case recently reopened by Riverside County prosecutors...

    A man accused of gunning down a Desert Hot Springs teen more than two decades ago was in custody Friday in a case recently reopened by Riverside County prosecutors...

Powered by Frankly