Two men were beaten by a group of men outside a gay bar in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood early Sunday morning, reports TV station KDKA.
The attack happened around 2:30 a.m. near the well-known gay bar Remedy on Butler Street. Ben Stoviak, who was attacked along with his boyfriend, Aaron, said that shortly after they walked out of the bar, three men began yelling antigay slurs as they approached them. One of the men then punched Stoviak and continually kicked him in the face after he fell to the ground.
“We’re not ashamed of ourselves — and that’s when they ran after us and one of them threw a punch at me, got me on the ground and they started kicking, punching, weren’t stopping, stomping — I have a boot mark on my face,” Stoviak told KDKA.
A Pittsburgh woman who didn’t wish to be identified said she and her girlfriend witnessed the incident, describing it as “horrifying, blood was covering his entire mouth.” The two women rushed over when they initially heard the commotion, but stopped when they realized two men were being attacked by a group, she said.
Three suspects fled the scene in a black Hyundai. An additional person witnessed the attack and was able to take down the license plate number from the suspects’ vehicle.
Stoviak believes he and his boyfriend were targeted because they were showing affection for one another outside the bar and the attack was a hate crime.
Police immediately began investigating the incident and say one suspect has already been identified. However, the person’s name has not been released and he is currently only being charged with simple assault and will receive a summons in the mail. No arrests have been made at this time.