Ohio Police Investigate Attack on Gay Man as a Hate Crime
Police from Cleveland, Ohio, are calling the attack on a gay man, who was beaten Sunday night, a hate crime, Cleveland’s NBC-affiliated station WKYC reports.
Jared Fox says he was walking from his car to a popular gay bar in Cleveland called Cocktails, just before midnight on Saturday when a group of 20 young men allegedly surrounded him, hurling anti-gay slurs.
"They didn’t know if I had money. They didn’t know anything about me," Fox said. "They saw that there was a gay bar at the corner and they saw me walking to it."
Fox told Cleveland’s Fox 8, "I told them I didn’t have anything and they just surrounded me. They were everywhere, and just started beating me. I fully believe it was because I am gay."
Fox, 26, said the group then attacked him, punching him in the face repeatedly and knocked him to the ground.
"They said what’s in your pockets and I said, I got no money I’m broke, and they said, ’oh so you’re one of those broke [slur]?’ And then they just started swinging," Fox added.
Fox suffered a black eye, a ruptured right eardrum and some hearing loss. He also has several bruises over his body and the suspects stole the victim’s cell phone. Fox lives in New York City but was in Cleveland visiting family.
Fox 8 reports that the attack was caught on Cocktail’s surveillance cameras. The footage shows the group in the street moving towards the sidewalk where Fox was walking to the bar. They then beat Fox, knocking him to the ground and attacked him again.
"What hurt the most and when I got the most scared is when one of them said, ’Do you want to die?’," Fox told Fox 8.
Fox was able to escape and go into the bar to get help. According to Fox 8, Fox said he threw his cell phone and told the men that there were credit cards inside the cover, which diverted their attention.