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More Arrests in Liverpool Bashing

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Six more teenagers have been arrested in conjunction with a brutal assault on an off-duty gay police trainee in Liverpool, England.

James Parkes was assaulted on Sunday night on Stanley Street by as many as 20 people. Investigators are using closed circuit television footage to find more assailants.

The boys, ranging in age from 13 to 16, were arrested and held overnight by police, the BBC reports. In all, 12 boys have been in police custody, with another six out on bail. Detective Tim Keelan is asking for witnesses of the assault on Sunday evening in Liverpool's gay neighborhood to step forward.

"We are treating the assault as a homophobic hate crime, and this incident shows there are still some people who have not learned that crimes of this type are completely unacceptable," he told the BBC.

Parkes was with his boyfriend and two friends at the time of the assault in front of the popular gay bar Superstar Boudoir; one of his companions was also punched in the face. Parkes is hospitalized in critical condition with multiple skull fractures, a fractured eye socket, and a fractured cheekbone.

"James has worked hard to serve the community over the last two years as a police community support officer and is very excited to be at the start of his career as a police officer," Parkes's parents said in a statement. "We cannot believe the ignorance of the young people who carried out the attack on someone who was just out on a night out with friends and had done nothing wrong."

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