A gay man is in the hospital this week after being beaten unconscious -- a brutal attack those who were with him say was motivated by homophobia.
Mikey Partida, told News 10 that he was walking down a Davis, Calif., street with his cousin after 3 a.m. Sunday morning, when a neighbor started verbally harassing him.
The man continued yelling at Partida, using the anti-gay slur "faggot," according to the report, and then started throwing punches.
"I heard him, personally, yelling slurs at him," Partida's cousin Vanessa Turner told News 10. "I know it was unprovoked."
Partida told Sacramento's CBS13 that he thinks he was an easy target.
"They knew I was gay. They knew they were taller and bigger, and knew how to fight,” Partida told the news outlet.
As of Wednesday, Davis police Lt. Glenn Glasgow said investigators had identified a suspect in the alleged hate crime.
"Although we are not releasing the identity of the suspect, there could be criminal charges forthcoming at the conclusion of the investigation," Davis said, according to the Daily Democrat.
The victim's family has since turned to social media to raise awareness of the case, as well as to solicit contributions toward his medical bills and lawyer's fees.
On Wednesday, the Facebook group "Mike's Justice Fund" posted a note from Partida's mom, Gloria:
I wanted to express my gratitude for the huge support we have received. Every time I look at my son I think of every victim that has been assaulted for their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender and how they are someones baby and my heart aches for all those moms. He seems to have turned a corner today and is talking and moving. He will have a long recovery the doctors have mentioned perhaps a skilled nursing facility but we are hoping that he will be able to go home possible. He is still very anxious and I think it is tragic that he worries about walking the streets he grew up on. However the love he has received affirms the goodness in the world and without all of your gestures the sadness would be to much to bear.
"Everywhere he goes, everyone loves Mikey," another one of Partido's cousins, Melanie Bravo, told KCRA 3. "Mikey is an amazing person. He's more than just my cousin. He's my brother ... I'm just glad that he's still here with us."