Gay couple beaten and one left in a concussion by gang of men for holding hands
Outside a taco truck on a simple Sunday morning, a gay couple were holding hands and ordering breakfast when they heard a man mutter “f*g”.
But words soon turned to violence, as four men allegedly surrounded the couple and brutally beat them, leaving one victim in a concussion and suffering bone fractures.
In Pasco, Washington, US, the couple were reportedly harassed and attacked by the gang on December 22.
All four were later arrested and charged with second degree assault and malicious harassment, KEPR TV reported.
For holding hands, two gay men were allegedly assaulted.
Eight witnesses informed police that the gaggle of guys began hurling homophobic slurs at the pair outside the truck, with some claiming “f*g” was used.
The men then punched one victim in the face, witnesses said, before kicking him repeatedly after he fell to the floor.
While the gang fled, the men were arrested by authorities and identified. The men were booked into the Franklin County Jail.
One victim suffered a concussion and bone fractures, court documents said, and that he was left bleeding on the floor.
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The gang of four, identified as Pedro Mata Contreras (36), Oscar Emestor Mata (38), Ulises Missael Reyes-Mata (24) and Jose Torres (37), were all charged with felony malicious harassment.
Bail was pinned between $3,500 and $20,0000, and arraignment pencilled for December 31.
All four men maintain their innocence.
In the States, around one in five hate crimes are fuelled by anti-LGBT bias, statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation suggested.
But these numbers understate the problem, activists warn.
The annual report from the department consists of cases that law enforcement agencies voluntarily report to the FBI, leading to campaigners calling for hate crime reporting to be made mandatory.