by: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - George Allen Mason , Jr.Hillsboro police have a arrested a suspect in an alleged Friday afternoon hate crime.

George Allen Mason, Jr., 22, is accused of attacking a man he believed to be gay.

At 3:30 p.m. on March 1, Hillsboro police responded to an assault call at 18200 N.W. Evergreen Pkwy. They found a 26-year-old Hillsboro man who was assaulted with a wrench or hard metal pipe type object.

The victim said he was walking his dog in the parking lot at the location when a male suspect stopped his vehicle, a 1997 Land Rover, jumped out and hit him in the back of the head with a hard metal object. The suspect then got back in his vehicle and fled the location eastbound on Cornell Road from the location.

The officer's investigation revealed that the suspect yelled a derogatory term demeaning the victim's perceived sexual orientation during the attack. The victim received a bump on the back of the head but did not need to be hospitalized.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on March 2, Hillsboro police discovered the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of the Target store located at 19000 N.W. Evergreen Rd. Officers discovered the suspect's wife in the vehicle and found the suspect nearby on foot.

The officers arrested Mason, a transient, for Intimidation-2, Assault-2, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Reckless Driving. He was lodged in the Washington County Jail.

The suspect's wife, Saraya Gardner, 23, was cited for interfering with a police officer for her reluctance to cooperate with the investigation. Gardner did not participate in the attack but was present during the arrest of the suspect.

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