A hate crime investigation is under way in D.C. after a gay couple’s night out ended in a brutal beating.
Michael Hall Jr. has a broken jaw and a fractured cheekbone following the attack Sunday morning. The 29-year-old yoga instructor was operated on at Howard University Hospital Monday.
His parents, Mike and Gail Hall of Colonial Beach, Va., worried for their son’s safety when he moved to the District nine years ago.
“Every morning, get up and turn Channel 4 news on and see if he was alive or not, who got killed or stabbed,” Mike Hall said.
“My biggest nightmare was that this would happen eventually,” Gail Hall said.
The Halls got the phone call they always feared Sunday morning.
Michael Hall Jr. and his boyfriend, Michael Roike, were heading home from a restaurant just after midnight Sunday when they were ambushed by about five teenagers in the Eckington section of northeast D.C.
“Four or five kids just came out of nowhere without any warning,” Roike said. “We didn’t think it was a robbery because they didn’t immediately ask for something. They just came out swinging and hitting.”
A woman and her boyfriend went to their aid and managed to get them to safety.
Roike said he’s not sure if he and his boyfriend were attacked because of their sexuality.
“I can’t think of another reason other than we got out of a fancy town car and we were walking in a not great part of town at a late hour,” Roike said. “We were probably holding hands. It could have been because we’re gay, but I don’t know for sure.”
“It’s so unnecessary in this day and age, when everybody could just get along,” Gail Hall said.