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Was St. Louis Fight an Antigay Attack or Drunken Brawl? 

Was St. Louis Fight an Antigay Attack or Drunken Brawl? 

Derrick Glasby
Derrick Glasby

Derrick Glasby says when he tried to intervene in an antigay attack in downtown St. Louis Friday morning, he ended up on the receiving end of violence. 

Police in St. Louis are still investigating an early-morning fight that broke out downtown Friday where the victim says he was beaten for being gay.

St. Louis TV station KMOV reports that 28-year-old Derrick Glasby was walking down Washington Avenue around 2 a.m. Friday when he allegedly overheard a group of four men harassing another man for being gay.

Glasby, who is also gay, told the station he stepped in to try to defuse the situation but quickly became the target of violence himself.

"I turned and as soon as I turned a guy hits me in the face," Glasby told KMOV. "At that moment, we began brawling." Glasby said the attackers used homophobic slurs against him and that he has a fractured jaw from the incident that will require surgery later this month.

Cell phone video of the incident obtained by KMOV appears to show Glasby, shirtless, alternately throwing punches and being surrounded by as many as four men. The men can be seen punching Glasby in the face and body, prompting the fight to spill out into the street, where Glasby is tackled as a crowd surrounds the scuffle. Glasby said one woman did try to intervene, but other bystanders simply took out their phones to film it.

A spokesperson with the Metropolitan Police Department for the City of St. Louis confirmed to The Advocate that officers were called to respond to a "disturbance" in the 1300 block of Washington Avenue around 2:40 a.m. Friday. Officers met with Glasby, who reported he had been assaulted by four unknown men who had subsequently fled the scene. That report does indicate that at least one of the suspects used an antigay slur during the fight.

The police report reviewed by The Advocate seems to imply the fight could have been a drunken brawl, noting that Glasby had "a small amount of blood coming from his mouth," and that "the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol emanating from him." Glasby refused medical treatment at the time, according to the police report.

Glasby was accompanied by a witness, identified in the police report as the victim's cousin, who confirmed that Glasby had been drinking and that he was planning to drive Glasby home when the pair encountered the assailants arguing with the first man.

Police are still investigating the attack, including whether it was motivated by antigay bias. Missouri law does have hate-crime enhancements for crimes motivated by a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity, though it's unclear at this time if police are pursuing Glasby's assault one motivated by bias.

Watch KMOV's report on the incident below.

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