Gay man almost died. Was it a hate crime?


Aaron Salazar, a student at Portland State University, was travelling from Colorado to Oregon when he was found lying near the tracks in the station at Truckee, California, on May 15. Amtrak authorities investigating the case have said there is no evidence of criminal intent, but Salazar’s family believes he could be attacked only because of his sexuality. And for the same reason the authorities ignore their requests or respond to them slower than they should, the family insists. Salazar’s mother, Sonia Trujillo, told the Reno Gazette Journal that she has no idea whom the authorities are trying to protect but it won’t stop her from finding out the truth anyway. Salazar is currently fighting for his life with multiple brain injuries, a broken pelvis, and severe burns on his thigh. He is also said by relatives to have bruising consistent with a struggle and blood under his fingernails. However, in recent updates, he is said to have opened his eyes and made good progress under the care of doctors in the ICU of a local Reno hospital. But his family still does not know what has happened with him. Amtrak has responded with a public statement saying: “The Amtrak Police Department is conducting an ongoing investigation into this incident. At this time, there is nothing to suggest criminal intent.”Robert Leftwich, the Truckee Chief of Police said that Amtrak had jurisdiction over the case, but added that his thoughts were with Aaron and his family.


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