(CNN)The mayor of a Seattle suburb was attacked at a party this weekend because of his pro-immigrant stance -- an incident that police are investigating as a hate crime.
A mayor is assaulted because of his pro-immigrant stance. Police are investigating it as a hate crime
Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta was downtown for an annual community event Saturday. An older white man grabbed him by the neck from behind and pushed him to the ground, the city said in a statement.
The man told Matta he "wasn't going to let your people take over" and that "illegals aren't going to take over our community," Burien Police Chief Ted Boe told reporters.
Matta said he was attacked because he supports Burien's sanctuary city status and because he is Latino. As a sanctuary city, Burien city staff and police personnel can't ask or collect information about a person's immigration status or religion.
"We have no room for this behavior. It's behavior that we're concerned about," Matta said at a news conference Monday.
Matta was elected in 2017 and is the first Latino mayor in the city's 25-year history.
"America covers many nationalities, and our flag has been swaying with the wind protected by people from many backgrounds and ethnicities," Matta wrote in a Facebook post after the attack.
Police haven't identified a suspect, but Matta said he would press charges.
"I don't care what color or nationality you come from. When your behavior is violent you need to be prosecuted and locked up!!!!!" Matta wrote.