Craig Knapp, 50, was attacked while walking his neighbor's dog Saturday in the Dallas gayborhood of Oak Lawn, the latest in a string of crimes against gay men in the area.
Knapp says two men approached him shortly after 4 a.m., called him a gay slur, and began hitting him in the face. He says one of the two men asked him the name of the dog, and it was after that exchange that the men used the slur.
The attack may have been "motivated by the victim's perceived sexual orientation," reports Houston TV station KHOU. Dallas police are investigating.
"I wanted to get out alive, plain and simple," Knapp told KHOU. He told the TV station that he offered the two men his phones and money, but they rejected his offer.
Knapp suffered "deep cuts and scrapes," the station reports, but the injuries that are not visibile hurt him the most. "It's now an anger that I feel, and I am not an angry guy," he told KHOU.
Since last September, there have been about a dozen attacks on gay men in the Oak Lawn area. Only one of those has been classified as a hate crime -- an incident where a man was attacked with a baseball bat by suspects who used antigay slurs. Area residents have held community meetings and rallies in an effort to address the violence.
The Dallas police have increased patrols of the neighborhood, added extra cameras, and improved the lighting in the area, reports KHOU. A detective will be assigned to the investigation Monday and will determine whether the crime was motivated by antigay hate.
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