Police in Washington, D.C., are investigating a possible hate crime after two men were attacked and beaten early Sunday morning.
The incident, which police have labeled aggravated assault, occurred in the 2000 block of 10th Street Northwest. Officers responded to a call that a person was unconscious. They found two adult male victims who said they were assaulted by three men who yelled homophobic slurs at them.
They were taken to an area hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. One victim said he was knocked unconscious by the attack. The other victim sustained a broken nose and a chipped tooth.
“The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this offense as potentially being motivated by hate or bias,” the department said in a statement. “Anyone with information is asked to call 202-727-9099 or you can text your tip to 50411.”
Police have not made available descriptions of the suspected assailants.
Jamie Sycamore, who is running for D.C. Council in Ward 1, told local CBS news station WUSA that he knows both victims.
“It’s a shame that people can just be beaten up just for who they are,” he said in an interview. “It’s not good.”
In the first 11 months of 2017, the Metropolitan Police Department reported 163 hate crimes in D.C. where individuals were targeted on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression or political affiliation. Of these, the greatest share ― 51 hate crimes in all, or about 31 percent ― involved someone being targeted for their sexual orientation.