A male student reported being attacked early Sunday morning by a man who shouted an anti-gay slur at him.
The student was walking with a group of friends on Bouvier Street near French when he said an intoxicated man walked up to the group with two women. The intoxicated man berated the student’s friends, then walked over to him and pushed him from behind to the ground and kicked him in the back, yelling “f****t” at him.
The student, whose name The Temple News has withheld for his protection, said he believes it’s possible he was singled out by his attacker for being a bisexual man. He said he believes this because his attacker targeted him instead of his straight friends.
Because of the nature of the incident, the student said he believes it was a hate crime.
The alleged attacker, who the student estimates was 5-foot-8-inches tall and 150 pounds, walked away from the scene with the two women, said Charlie Leone, the director of Campus Safety Services.
The student did not require medical attention, but said he sustained bruising and scraping on his knees, jaw, knuckles and wrists. The student has a pre-existing condition characterized by chronic pain. He said the attack exacerbated his injuries and he is now facing “serious pain.”
“As a bisexual man, it was an extremely jarring experience,” the student added. “But I’m not afraid to go out in the future.”
When he reported the incident to bike officers, the student said he told them his offender was white. But when the officers called the description out to other officers to look for the attacker, the student said the officers incorrectly reported his offender was black.
The officers then told the student they “may or may not” follow up with him, the student said. Detectives declined to interview him further on Sunday morning, but followed up in the afternoon to check in.
The investigation is in its preliminary stages, so it is too early to classify it as a hate crime, Leone said.
“We will be looking at all elements of the crime and motive, pursuing all avenues aggressively investigating this horrible incident,” he added.
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick.