Don Brooks was walking to his home in the generally LGBT-friendly community of West Hollywood early Tuesday morning, when he says a group of men began yelling antigay and racial slurs at him from inside their car. The confrontation soon turned physical, leaving Brooks with a head wound that required staples to close.
"I wasn't expecting to get gay-bashed or have a hate crime committed against me on Martin Luther King Day in West Hollywood," Brooks told Los Angeles TV station KTLA.
Brooks, a 31-year-old gay bartender, said he was crossing Santa Monica Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue around 2 a.m. Tuesday when four men in a white Audi SUV began verbally harassing him. Brooks says he told the men to go home, which apparently prompted three of them to jump out of the vehicle, continuing to swear at him. Then one of the suspects allegedly charged at Brooks, knocking him to the ground, cracking his head on the sidewalk.
Brooks described all four men as Armenian and in their mid-to-late 20s. He said the primary assailant was a "beefy, buff guy," approximately six feet tall, and was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans during the assault.
Authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime — the first assault to be categorized as such in West Hollywood this year, according to KCBS-TV.
Anyone with information about the attack is encouraged to contact authorities, and can supply anonymous tips by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Watch the KCBS report below.