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A teenager in Baytown, Texas, says he was beaten by three other young people at a skate park earlier this month because he's gay.
Dylan Beard, 17, says he was punched and kicked by two boys and a girl who called him a "faggot" and a "booty lover," reports the Houston Chronicle.
"By the end of the attack, Beard had bitten through his tongue and suffered chipped teeth, a broken nose, a black eye and lacerations to the knees and elbows," the Chronicle reports. Beard says perpetrators subsequently bragged on social media about the assault, which allegedly took place October 12 after he was lured to a skate park in Baytown, a Houston suburb.
Houston activist Quanell X held a press conference Thursday to call attention to the attack and what he says is a lack of response by Baytown police. He said the police have refused to take statements, ignored witnesses, and insulted Beard for being gay.
A police spokesman said the department has not been negligent, and he is not aware of any officers making antigay remarks to Beard. "We are taking steps, we're reaching out ... [for Beard to] speak with our detective and to speak with internal affairs," Lt. Eric Freed told the Chronicle. He said the female attacker has been charged with misdemeanor-level assault.
Quanell X said he became involved in the case after Dylan Beard's mother, Jennifer, contacted him. He added that it resonates with him because he has a young gay relative and has witnessed the bullying that LGBT youth endure.
At Thursday's press conference, he called out the attackers, the Chronicle reports. "It doesn't make you a man, it doesn't make you a tough guy, it doesn't make you some real person to be proud of because you want to prey on a little kid because he's gay," he said. "Why don't you pick on somebody your own size? Why won't you pick on some men who you know will fight you back? This little kid does not deserve to be treated like this. Whether you agree or disagree with his sexual orientation, or not, it does not give anyone the right to treat him like he's less than a human being and rob him of his human and civil rights."
A hate-crime complaint has been filed with the FBI. Below, watch a report by Houston TV station KHOU.