DESCHUTES COUNTY, OR — An Oregon man has been charged with attempted murder and hate crimes after allegedly breaking into a motel office and attacking a 70-year-old immigrant from India who owns the business, a report from NBCNews.com said.
The man, 53-year-old James Lamb of Eugene, Oregon, was charged on Tuesday, January 7 with attempted murder, two counts of bias crime, assault, burglarly, strangulation, menacing and criminal mischief, the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office said.
Lamb had been staying at the Hub Motel in Redmond. He broke into the manager’s office on New Year’s Eve before attacking her, prosecutors said.
The woman suffered broken bones and is still hospitalized following the attack, but she is expected to survive according to the report.
“The grand jury charged Mr. Lamb with bias crimes based on his statements regarding the victim’s country of origin being India and his expressed desire to rid America of people like her,” the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
The victim and her husband are citizens of the United States, her husband told the Associated Press, and have been in America for decades.
“We love this country,” he said.
Lamb’s attorney did not respond to a request to comment from CNN.
District Attorney John Hummel credited the victim, who “provided heroic testimony to the grand jury from her hospital bed,” he said, on the passage of a hate crime law last year.
“Too many people in Oregon are silenced by intimidation and violence because of how they look, who they love or to whom they pray,” Hummel said. “Because of this woman’s strength, and because the Oregon Legislature passed a law last year to strengthen Oregon’s hate crime law, justice will be delivered in this case.
“Hate is not tolerated in Deschutes County.”