Two men are the latest victims in a steadily rising number of violent attacks on gays in Dallas’s popular Oak Lawn neighborhood, despite an increase in local police presence.
According to Dallas TV station KDFW, these two incidents bring the total number of attacks and robberies targeting gay men to 11, in just three months. So far, only one has been officially classified a hate crime.
Early Monday morning, Dallas resident Sean Gonzalez was robbed at gunpoint by multiple men in an alley close to his home before being beaten to the ground, reports KDFW.
“The next thing I know the other guy is taking things out of my pockets,” Gonzalez said. “My eyes are closed. I have no clue what’s going to happen next … the guy takes everything out of my pockets. I get knocked on the ground and they just start kicking me.
Another incident occurred two miles away, when another armed robber took resident Michael Redman’s money and car keys soon after he left a local bar, the station reported.
“When I turned back around, he was right up against my face, literally just right there. He held me up against my door and kept demanding my car keys,” said Redman. He told KDFW the carjacker called him an antigay slur and threatened his life.
Last month, LGBT residents and allies held a rally calling for better police protection.
And at a community meeting in October, police promised Oak Lawn residents more patrols and said they're considering adding cameras to the area. Local officials also pledged to fix broken streetlights, something that has made walking that neighborhood dangerous at night.
Dallas police announced a reward in connection to the two most recent attacks. Crime Stoppers is offering up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the suspects responsible.
Watch the entire report of the incidents below from KDFW.