Three gay men were physically attacked on the 1400 block of P Street in Northwest D.C. by a person, who allegedly used homophobic language, on the Halloween night and received treatment at a hospital due to injuries, the Washington Blade reported.
The D.C. police have classified the incident as a “suspected hate crime.” One of the victims, Timothy Luke, also wrote in a Facebook message that he was not sure whether the assault could be called a “hate crime,” while describing it as an “act of hate.”
“Many homosexual and derogatory slurs were stated during the attack, however, I am unable to firmly state whether this was a hate crime or just a heinous attack,” Luke said in his post.
“Without provocation or warning, Suspect 1 punched Victim 1 in the head then slammed Victim 1’s head into a glass window, causing serious bodily injuries,” according to a police report acquired by the Blade.
The victim was then knocked unconscious and multiple staples were used for the injury, the report stated, adding that the incident took place near a gay bar located in the Logan Circle neighborhood.
Luke and his husband Andy, who are among the victims of the attack, are part of the D.C. LGBT cheerleading group Cheer D.C., according to the Blade.
“Cheer D.C. utilizes the positivity of cheerleading to elevate acceptance and equality within our communities and beyond,” the group explains its mission on its website.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based nonprofit civil rights organization that tracks hate groups around the country, released a report back in February, documenting the surge in hate crimes.