Gay Denver Man Brutally Attacked, Needs Surgery

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com September 04 2013 11:38 AM ET

A gay man in Denver will require reconstructive surgery after his face was brutally beaten as he left a hookah bar early Monday.

Jared Olson, 23, left Sam's Hookah Lounge at 2 a.m. Monday, and he and two others entered a car in the nearby parking lot. Olson and one of his friends were attacked by a man who allegedly opened the passenger doors of the car to beat them. Olson said the attacker was part of a larger group of men lingering in the parking lot. Their third friend, who was in the driver's seat, went physically unharmed, according to Denver's ABC affiliate.

The attacker broke several bones in Olson's face. He does not have health insurance, and the surgery may cost more than $50,000.

"I didn't think it would ever happen to me," Olson told the TV station. "I thought people were more sensible than that in this day in age. I just remember looking over and looking up at the guy and getting hit square in the face."

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said it is still being determined whether the case will be deemed a bias-motivated crime.