Police: 2 men attacked in D.C. by assailants who yelled homophobic slurs

Metropolitan Police Department

D.C. Police are hoping newly released video will help identify the assailants who violently attacked two gay men Sunday morning in Northwest Washington. The two victims were kicked, punched, and beaten so badly, one was knocked unconscious and the other suffered a broken nose.

Investigators say at least one of the three suspects yelled homophobic slurs during the attack.

Police said the victims were assaulted by three men around 12:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of 10th Street, NW, which is in the popular U Street area. They were taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries after the reported aggravated assault.

Police said the suspects are three black men between the ages of 20 and 25.

The suspects are described as following:

- Suspect one is described as bald and wearing a white T-shirt, dark pants and gray high-top sneakers

- Suspect two is described as wearing dark clothes with distinctive shoes

- Suspect three is described having blond-highlighted hair and wearing a white shirt, jeans, red boxers and dark shoes

According to authorities, the attack is being investigated as “potentially being motivated by hate or bias.” Members of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Special Liaison Branch – which includes a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liaison Unit – are assisting with the investigation.

“This type of act, this violent criminal act, does not serve the District of Columbia and it certainly doesn’t reflect the D.C. values that we hold true,” said Lt. Brett Parson, the Commanding Officer of MPD’s Special Liaison Branch. “And that’s why it’s so important that members of the community who may have information get that information to us so we can bring them to justice.”

Parson said he’d spoken to the victims, who are healing but still shaken up. One of them had to undergo emergency reconstructive surgery on his face.

Members of the LGBT community said the video was difficult to watch, and the attack had shattered their sense of security in a neighborhood where they usually feel safe.

“This area, I’ve lived here for seven years. It’s very gay-friendly, it generally always has been, but when stuff like that happens, you think twice about walking home by yourself on a Saturday night,” said Zack Launer.

Police said they understand that concern, and tried to reassure the LGBT community that officers are doing everything they can to make sure the suspects are caught.

“There’s no reason to believe this was a targeted attack by individuals going around and committing these crimes over and over, but it’s still a violent crime and we want to bring these people to justice as quickly as possible,” said Parson.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call (202) 727-9099 or text a tip to 50411.

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