Investigators are looking for a woman seen running from a Safeway grocery store after brazenly attacking a man and hurling a gay slur at him, D.C. police said.
Police released video from the July 2 incident inside the Safeway at City Vista for help identifying the woman.
The victim said when he sees the images of the woman, he thinks, "How young to have so much hate."
He was standing behind the woman at the customer service counter when he asked if she was in line. She put out her foot as if to try to trip him, then brought her arm around and started punching him while calling him by a gay slur, the victim said.
Store security seemed reluctant to help but did eventually order the woman to leave, telling the victim they were not permitted to physically intervene, he said. When he asked them to call 911, they told him: "You're on your own."
Making matters worse, he said, the D.C. police officer he flagged down outside seemed reluctant to take a report and did not list it as a hate crime.
He also called the MPD's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.
"If they had not arrived, I don't think the video would have even been released," he said.
He has filed a complaint with Safeway and another with D.C. police about the patrol officer who took the report.
D.C. police confirmed they are investigating the complaint against the patrol officer. Safeway is conducting an investigation into the actions of its employees.