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Man injured after suspected hate beating in D.C. gets teeth fixed for free by dentist

Man injured after suspected hate beating on U Street gets teeth fixed for free by dentist. (Photo courtesy of Capital Cosmetic Dentistry)

One of the two men who was violently attacked on DC's popular U Street on Sunday, April 15 says he has his smile back after the attack left him with some broken teeth – and he has a local dentist to thank for it.

Zach Link took to Facebook to describe the happy ending to the horrible beating that authorities believe may have been a hate crime.

"All I did that night was cry about how my teeth had been broken. It has been a lot more difficult mentally to see and feel my damaged teeth than I wanted to admit. Dito was able to connect me with this outstanding man, Christopher Banks, who completely donated his time and talents to bring my smile back..." Link wrote in part.

In a statement to ABC7 News, Capital Cosmetic Dentistry, who covered the cost of fixing Link's teeth, says Dr. Banks just wanted to help.

Statement form Capital Cosmetic Dentistry:

"While Dr Banks certainly did not render his services for the benefit of himself or CCD, we certainly appreciate the recognition.
When Dr Banks was contacted by Dito Sevilla regarding the hateful crime Zach Link suffered, his response was immediate: he wanted to help. Chris reached out to Zach and expressed that he “would love to help” and render assistance. As a dentist who prides himself on the art of his cosmetic dentistry AND as a member of the LGBTQ community, Dr Banks met with Zach and proceeded to restore his smile. Zach came in with remarkable and visible damage to several of his front teeth, the result of severe and aggressive punching and kicking to his face. Zach came into the office and after a few hours walked out of with a restored smile.
As a parting personal note, Dr Banks wants it to be known: “this community is beautiful in its resilience and desire to support each other. In a day and age wherein we shake our heads and proclaim hate and violence toward the LGBTQ is senseless and barbaric, we all know it still happens and all we can do is try to help each other pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Without knowing the depth, breadth and expense of Zach’s injuries, I reached out and offered full care because we are all members of a powerful loving LGBTQ community before anything else. It is through these acts of love in the face of hate that we will persist, thrive, and succeed in showing the world we want to be ‘one’.”

D.C. police say the two men were attacked around 12:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of 10th Street, NW by three other men that they are still searching for. Authorities released surveillance video in hopes that the public would be able to help identify them. Investigators say at least one of the suspects yelled homophobic slurs during the attack.

The two victims were kicked, punched, and beaten so badly, one was knocked unconscious and the other suffered a broken nose, according to officials.





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