A Swarthmore student and a University of Pennsylvania student were attacked on the Swarthmore campus early Sunday morning in what some students are saying may have been a hate crime, reports the Swarthmore Daily Gazette.
The two students were walking across campus when they were approached by at least five male teenagers and one female teenager, who asked the victims to buy alcohol for them and then beat the two after they refused. The victims were sent to hospital later that night, but neither sustained serious injuries.
The Swarthmore victim later reported that the attack happened after he was being affectionate with his friend. "I can't imagine them attacking a guy and a girl, two girls, [or] two guys they thought were straight," he told the Gazette.
Another student told the Gazette that the incident is "the latest in a disturbing pattern of verbal and physical assaults motivated by anti-gay/homophobic bias."
Initial police reports indicate that the violent reaction was prompted by the students' refusal to purchase the booze, and possibly by their asking the group: "are you ville rats," or non-Swarthmore students who live close to campus, according to CBS Philadelphia.
Swarthmore Borough Chief of Police Brian Craig told the Delaware County Daily Times that the assaulted students did not report verbal abuse, which usually accompanies a hate crime.