D.C. police have issued an appeal for witnesses to a July 22 incident in which three unidentified males assaulted a gay male couple at 3rd and U streets, N.E. in the city’s Eckington neighborhood.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that there were witnesses to the assault,” according to a police statement.
Michael Hall Jr., 29, a D.C. yoga instructor, was hospitalized for a broken cheekbone and fractured jaw from injuries suffered in the attack, which police say occurred around midnight. Police listed the incident as an anti-gay hate crime.
Hall’s partner, Michael Roike, told the Blade the three assailants attacked him and Hall minutes after the two got out of a car they hired to drive them home from a night out at two restaurants on Capitol Hill.
Roike said Hall underwent surgery at Howard University Hospital to treat severe face and jaw injuries he sustained from the attackers, whom he said punched Hall in the face, knocking him to the ground. He said he’s uncertain what provoked the assault.
Police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump told the Blade in an email that the three attackers “appeared from an unknown direction and began to yell homophobic slurs” at Roike and Hall. The only information about the suspects released by police so far describes them as “three black males wearing dark clothing.”
Roike said they appeared to be in their late teens but said he and Hall were unable to provide more information about their appearance.
Police said they are urging anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who has information about it to contact police at 202-727-9099. Friends of Roike and Hall created a Facebook page called “Friends of Michael Joel Hall and Michael Roike” to help the two raise money to cover some of Hall’s medical expenses. Friends said Hall doesn’t have medical insurance.