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2 arrested in Halloween night beating of gay men in Long Beach

Image: Map shows approximate location of where two gay men were attacked on Halloween in Long Beach. Source: Google Maps A Halloween night attack on two gay men on the streets of Long Beach is being investigated as a hate crime.

The men were leaving the Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach when two other men approached them, made a derogatory reference to homosexuals and then beat them -- one into unconsciousness, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

Police said they have arrested two men, ages 19 and 27, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Now, detectives are investigating the assault as a hate crime, Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt told the newspaper. The newspaper did not print the suspects' names.

The victims, in their late 50s and early 60s, suffered moderate injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The attack occurred about 8:15 p.m. when the victims were approached near Cherry Avenue and Fourth Street by the two assailants, one of whom uttered: “What are you looking at ......?” police told the Press-Telegram.

One of the victims pulled out a cellphone to take a photo of the assailants but then was pushed to the ground and stomped by one of the attackers, who then tried to grab the cellphone, the Press-Telegram reported.

The other victim was punched in the face, losing consciousness on the sidewalk, police said.

Police are urging witnesses or anyone with information to contact Det. Jackie Bezart at (562) 570-7250.

In August, Long Beach police investigated three incidents in which gay men were assaulted in or near the city's Broadway Corridor, a neighborhood known for its tight-knit gay and lesbian community.

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-- Steve Marble

Image: Map shows the approximate location where two gay men were attacked on Halloween night in Long Beach.

Source: Google Maps

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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