Attack on Men Investigated as Hate Crime

Victims were attacked; called derogatory term for gay men

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2013  |  Updated 6:18 AM EDT
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D.C. police are investigating an attack on two men in Northwest Washington as a hate crime after they were called a derogatory term for gay men.

Erika Gonzalez

D.C. police are investigating an attack on two men in Northwest Washington as a hate crime after they were called a derogatory term for gay men.

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An attack on two men is being investigated as a hate crime after they were assaulted at Q and 3rd streets while being called a derogatory term for gay men.

The men were walking down Q Street around 6 p.m. Sunday when a group of young men began following them, calling them derogatory names.

A victim says one man eventually rode a bicycle into them at a high rate of speed and punched them.

"Whether they were LGBT or not, the perceived notion that they are [made] them potential victims; it's sad to know that," said neighborhood resident Jihad Saleh Williams.

One victim sent an account of the attack to local blog Prince of Petworth [warning: content has bad language], which reads in part:

"As soon as we crossed third street on to Q, we heard the young male and his friends who were all hanging out at the church nearby yelling [a derogatory term]...

He rode his bike at full speed into us. Then, he got off his bike, and hit my friend from behind. I tried to deescalate things by saying everything is ok, and we should all stay calm. The young male then walked towards me and hit me in the left jaw."

The attackers' friends yelled at him and they left in a hurry, at which point the victims called police. Metropolitan Police have assigned their Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit to investigate the case.

"I hope it never happens again," local resident Williams said of the attack.

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