Metropolitan Police Department (DC Police / MPD)

3 Teens Arrested After Attack on Gay Couple in DC

The couple moved to DC just a month ago

Carl Craven describes the split second in which a quiet moment with his boyfriend, Braden Brecht, turned into a blur of pain fueled by hatred.

Both remember hearing an anti-gay epithet assault their ears as a man began beating Brecht, and others joined in.

"This is such a vivid image; I just saw like 10 guys just beating him," Craven recalled. "And so, instinctively I just jumped on top of him and tried to shield him and was shouting, 'Help, help, help!'"

The attack happened on U Street NW near Nellie's Sports Bar on Sunday morning. Both men were also robbed.

Brecht, 21, was taken to a hospital by ambulance and treated in the emergency room. That bill alone is in the thousands of dollars. He doesn't have health insurance and may need more treatment.

"It hurts where I got hit, at the beginning right here," Brecht said, clutching the back of his neck.

Craven, who's in D.C. for an internship, set up a GoFundMe page to help with Brecht's expenses. The page has already exceeded its $10,000 goal. People have reached out from across the District and across the country.


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"We've gotten like a flood of support from, I guess, the gay community, and also I'm a part of this fraternity at my school. A lot of support there," Craven said. "A lot of support from [Braden's] family and friends from his side, so we've gotten a lot of support."

The couple had moved here just a month ago for Craven's internship. Both have been thinking about what comes next, and whether their future is still here in D.C.

"Right now we're deciding whether or not we want to stay, because we're not sure," Craven said.

D.C. police have made three arrests. A 19-year-old man and two younger teens were arrested and face robbery charges. The charges have since been dropped.

None have been charged with hate crimes, but the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia's office said the case against the 19-year-old man has been "no-papered," meaning the government declined to file charges now but could bring charges against him in the future.

The District's attorney general, meanwhile, has not brought hate crime charges against the two juveniles.

CORRECTION (June 18, 2019, 11:29 a.m.): An earlier version of this story misspelled Brecht's last name.

CORRECTION (June 21, 2019, 6:24 p.m.): An earlier version of this story said incorrectly the three people arrested were charged with hate crimes.

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