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Two Dallas Men Beaten With Bats for Being Perceived as Gay

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Thursday March 15, 2012

Two Dallas men became the victims of an apparent anti-gay hate crime for their perceived sexual orientation when five men yelled homophobic slurs and attacked them with baseball bats, the Dallas Voice reported.

The police report says that while the victims were walking near an intersection around 2 a.m. a group of men called them "fags and sissy" from their car. After they verbally assaulted them, the five men got out of the car and attacked the two men with bats. One of the victims was hit at least four times in the head and was knocked unconscious for a short time. The other man tried to defend himself but the suspects dragged him on the ground before he escaped.

"The language used against the victims indicated they were motivated by the perception that they were gay," Cece Cobb, CEO of the Resource Center of Dallas, one of the primary nonprofit GLBT organizations in North Texas, told Dallas news station 5NBCDFW.

After the incident, the two men brought themselves to a local hospital. The authorities said the victims had cuts to the head and nose, bruising and swelling to the cheek and eye socket, chipped teeth and other injuries.

"It makes me very sad, very sad," a friend of the victims, who asked not to be identified, said. "I hate it for my friends to be in so much pain." The friend claims to be taking care of the victims and says that one had to get eight staples in his head while the other had bruises on his face and scabs on his arms and legs.

Laura Martin, LGBT liaison officer for the Dallas Police Department, said the victims' injuries are not life threatening. She also said that the victims did not know their attackers and she did not verify if the victims are gay.

"Crimes Against Persons is investigating the offense, and we have very vague suspect information," Martin said. "I'm not going to discuss the sexual orientation of the victims to respect their privacy, but it is being treated as a hate crime, and the Civil Rights division of the FBI is going to be following it to see if any help is needed as well. We're on top of it, basically."

The case mirrors a similar incident when a 20-year-old Atlanta gay man was brutally attacked outside a grocery store. The suspects yelled anti-gay slurs at Brandon White and physically assaulted him. One of the suspects even dropped a tire on him. The hate crime was caught on tape and was uploaded to the Internet, which caused it to go viral. White spoke out about the crime and said, "If a straight person can walk to the store and not have a problem then I should be able to feel the same. I could have died that day. Anyone could have died that day. They don't know what they do to people. They're monsters."

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