Dallas police are investigating the beating of a man as a hate crime after gay slurs were used during the attack, which occurred hours after the annual LGBT Pride parade on Sunday.
The 29-year-old man was attacked near the intersection of Sylvester St. and Wycliff Ave. about 9:15 p.m. on Sunday by four male suspects. Police said the man was repeatedly punched, kicked and hit with a baseball bat. The men also robbed the victim.
The victim was hospitalized and was in stable condition as of Monday afternoon. He suffered a fractured skull, numerous abrasions, cuts and bruises.
Police said the suspects "made numerous derogatory statements referencing the victim's perceived sexual orientation." The assault also occurred after the annual Allen Ross Freedom Parade that celebrates LGBT pride. Police said they believe the attack meets the criteria of a hate crime.
"He's asking for help," said Francisco Garcia, who found the victim in the street after he was robbed and beaten. "'I need help! Please help!'"
Rafael McDonnell, with the Resource Center in Dallas says they always urge those in the LGBT community to be as vigilant as possible.
The victim has a skull fracture, as well as numerous cuts and bruises.
"Hate crimes still happen," said McDonnell. "They happen around the country. They have happened here before. It is especially disheartening on a day like yesterday, when we had tens of thousands of people celebrating pride, that you have an attack like this."
There are provisions in the law to enhance the penalty for a hate crime, but since the attack was an aggravated robbery, which is a first degree felony, the hate crime enhancement won't apply.
Friends of the victim say he is out of the hospital, but in a lot of pain, and for that reason, he declined to talk to FOX 4 for this story.
Dallas police are searching for witnesses and video evidence of the attack. Anyone with information is asked to call 214-671-3638.