No arrests have been made, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Daniel Zumer said Thursday. In Pico Rivera, a gay Latino man’s car was scrawled with a homophobic slur, the tires were slashed and the antenna broken, the report said. It was one of 102 sexual orientation hate crimes last year, up from 95 cases in 2005. However, according to Zumer, investigators believed the Pico Rivera case might have involved an ex-boyfriend of the victim – something detectives were never able to prove, so the case remains classified as a hate crime. In another local case that was not highlighted in the report but was noted on a county map showing where hate crimes occurred, vandals scrawled anti-Christian graffiti last July inside a men’s bathroom at Biola University in La Mirada. But Marshal Wong, who helped compile the commission’s report, said the vandals also left a circled swastika with a line drawn through it and the letters “KKK,” also circled and with a line drawn through them. A racially motivated shooting in Norwalk and a homophobic incident in Pico Rivera were highlighted in the Los Angeles County Human Relation Commission’s annual report on hate crimes released Thursday. Overall, hate crimes were down 6 percent in the county last year from the year before, with 514 cases reported in 2006 compared to 633 incidents in 2005, the report said. Racially motivated hate crimes made up the majority of the cases, but homophobic attacks were up by 7 percent from 2005, according to the survey. It also said that conflicts between African Americans and Latinos remain “the most serious and troubling feature of intergroup relations in Los Angeles County.” Locally, the report highlighted the fatal shooting of an African-American man in Norwalk by Latino gang members, who shouted a racial epithet before opening fire on the victim as he waited for a bus on Excelsior Drive. While the incident was still categorized as a hate crime, Wong said no arrests were ever made, making it impossible to determine the culprit’s motive. Despite the overall drop in hate crimes, commission Executive Director Robin Toma noted there were about a half-dozen major hate crimes reported last year that generated headlines. At the beginning of 2006, a series of racially motivated melees broke out in county jails between black and Latino inmates. Months later, three young white women were attacked and beaten by nine black teenagers on Halloween night in Long Beach. Last December, four men on their way to a white supremacist rally stabbed a black man in Claremont. The same month, 14-year-old Cheryl Green was shot and killed in the Harbor Gateway area. Authorities believe a Latino gang member killed the teen because she was black. “I’m here today to put a face to the hatred and the violence that’s been going on in the county of Los Angeles,” Cheryl’s mother, Charlene Lovett, said at a news conference announcing the statistics. “To have your child, your baby taken away from you just due to the color of her skin, there’s no understanding to it,” she said. “You can’t make sense of it because there’s no sense to it.” A crime is classified in the “hate” category when there is evidence that bias, hatred or prejudice based on the victim’s real or perceived race, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation was a substantial factor. Last year, 237 blacks were the victims of hate crimes. Gays and lesbians were the second-most targeted group, with 102 incidents logged, followed by Jews, who were targeted in 65 crimes. “The fact that hate crimes have decreased overall in a continued trend since 2001 shows that we’re in the right direction,” Toma said. “However, when you look at all the different aspects in which hate crimes aren’t going down, such as anti-black hate crimes, anti-immigrant hate crimes, gang involvement, we know there’s a lot of work to do there.” Vandalism accounted for 189 of all hate crimes. There were 176 incidents involving assaults and 95 involving assaults with a deadly weapon. There were two hate crime-related murders and 13 attempted murders in 2006. The Commission on Human Relations found that 43 percent of all identified suspects were less than 18 years old. That’s a jump from 32 percent in 2005. A majority of juvenile suspects committed racial hate crimes, while suspects ages 18 to 25 committed the largest number of sexual orientation- and religion-based hate crimes. The commission’s report was based on data collected from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, 47 police agencies, school districts and local organizations. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!