Police are searching for five suspects who beat two gay men in the U Street nightlife area, knocking one of them unconscious, in a possible hate crime.
The two men were walking westward on U Street about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, crossing New Hampshire Avenue, when a car turning right nearly hit them, according to a police report.
"The car, you know, almost his us, wasn't anything that crazy," one of the victims told News4. They wished not to be identified.
One of the men slammed his open hand into the car and yelled at the driver. Police say that driver left, but another car with five or six people inside rolled up.
"They were yelling homophobic slurs at us. We ignored them, cause, you know, it happens," the second man said.
Then, things escalated.
"Five people got out of the car and just attacked us," he said. He says four males and a female began beating them.
The man who hit the car was knocked unconscious and bled profusely from his face, police said. The other suffered a minor injury to his face. They were bruised and cut and said some of their belongings were taken.
Witnesses called 911, and the victim who was knocked out was taken to a hospital.
"I remember waking up, my friend being upset, them trying to get me into the ambulance," he said.
Police got a description of the car but were unable to find it.
The two men are recovering now, but say the incident was disturbing.
"It's terrible, but there are ways to get through it and maybe prevent it from happening to someone else," one of the men said.