Police: Suspect In Black Girl's Attack Has 'SS' Tattoo

Berthoud Investigators Look Into Hate Crime Against 15-Year-Old Student

A sketch of one of the men who attacked a black foreign exchange student in Berthoud last week further suggests that the crime was racially motivated.

Berthoud police released the sketch on Wednesday and described him as a tall, blond white man with a Neo-Nazi tattoo on his arm. The tattoo is described as an 'SS' symbol with the number 11 between the two 'S' s.

"The 'SS' obviously is a Nazi era symbol that has been adopted by a number of white supremacist organizations," said Scott Levin of the Anti-Defamation League.

A Berthoud High School junior, a 15-year-old student from Germany, said she was walking through Ellen Bunyan Bein Park, next to the school, on Thursday night after a track meet when four white men blocked her path and made "racial statements."

Berthoud police say one of the attackers had this tattoo on his neck.

"Racial statements that were very intimidating racial statements. And obviously, they scared her a great deal," said Berthoud police Chief Glenn Johnson.

She told police the four men told her they were looking for a minority and that she would do.

The men then told her to bow to them and slashed her forehead with a knife before she was able to get away, according to Berthoud police.

Police are looking for any help in tracking down the men. No witnesses have come forward.

"My strongest feeling is that they're not from our town," Johnson said.

The girl's host family fear for her safety.

"We're just trying to take care of her. The whole thing's been a nightmare," her host "dad" said. "This shouldn't happen here. It shouldn't happen anywhere. It shouldn't be tolerated."

"She's a very private girl so the attention has been hard on her," her host "mom" said.

Heather Ehnert, a 7th grader who lives next door to the victim, said the victim is "really scared."

"I think it's pretty weird, cause, everybody's like, a big family here and I've never heard of that happening before," Ehnert said.

"She's a great student. And on top of that, she balances athletics," said ninth grader Mikalah Millheim. "Now that, you know, she's been attacked here, I'm pretty sure that she'll have a different impression of America."

The man police are looking for is said to be between 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches tall. He has greenish gray eyes and an athletic build, police said.

He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with a band of white flames around the chest, gray jeans and black boots. He was with three other white men who were described as two blond-haired males and a shorter, stocky male with dark hair.

One student who talked to 7NEWS reporter Tyler Lopez said the school has not publicly told students about the attack.

"There's people who could hurt us out there and they haven't told us about it," said Millheim. "It's now become a hazard."

Anyone who knows or sees the man police are searching for or the other men who may be involved, call the Berthoud Police Department at (970) 532-2611 and ask to contact Officer J. Yachik.

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