By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com September 03 2013 2:01 PM ET
A gay man was assaulted by a large group of men on Sunday, and police are calling it a hate crime.
Jared Fox was walking to Cocktails, a gay bar in Cleveland, near midnight on Saturday, when 20 men surrounded him and began to shout antigay epithets, according to WKYC, a local NBC affiliate.
After asking if Fox had any money or valuables on his person, the group began to throw punches at the 26-year-old man before knocking him to the ground.
"They said, 'What's in your pockets?' and I said, 'I got no money, I'm broke,' and they said, 'Oh, so you're one of those broke faggots?' And then they just started swinging," Fox told WKYC.
The group stole his cell phone, forcing Fox to call for help at the bar. Fox, who was bruised and suffered hearing loss from a ruptured eardrum, said the men knew he was gay because they recognized his destination.
In addition to Fox’s call, three additional calls were made that night to report disturbances around Cocktails, according to police. They are still searching for suspects.
Anyone with information about the attack is encouraged to call First District detectives at (216) 623-5118.