January 13, 2012 at 6:51 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay men assaulted in Christmas week hate crimes

Seven gay men were assaulted and menaced by seven male attackers, with two suspects threatening the victims with a handgun, in two separate incidents in Northwest Washington on Dec. 26 and 27. D.C. police have listed both incidents as anti-gay hate crimes.

In the Dec. 26 incident a gay man reported being threatened by a male suspect carrying a “long black handgun” while the victim walked with a group of friends on Kansas Avenue, N.W., about 9 p.m., according to a police report. The report says the suspect carrying the gun and another male suspect emerged from a van after calling the victim “faggy” and “stating he should be killed because he is gay,” the police report says.

The report says D.C. police arrested the suspect carrying the gun after the victim and a witness identified him; police later located the suspect at another location that same night.

In the Dec. 27 incident, five suspects described by police as Latino males confronted six gay men as they walked along the 1400 block of Irving St., N.W., about 3:40 a.m. A police report says one or more of the suspects told the victims, “You guys better take that gay shit back to Dupont Circle.” The suspects then demanded money from the victims, with one suspect punching one of the victims in the face, the report says.

Another suspect “pulled out a black handgun and stuck it in complainants’ faces, stating, “we want your money—someone gonna be fucked up,” the police report says. The six gay men got in their vehicle and fled the scene, but before driving away one of the suspects ripped off the vehicle’s temporary license tag, according to the police report. The report says police arrested two of the suspects after the victims called police and identified the two suspects.

The charges filed against the suspects arrested in both incidents couldn’t be immediately determined by press time.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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