2 arrested in Halloween night beating of gay men in Long Beach
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.
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.
-- Steve Marble
Image: Map shows the approximate location where two gay men were attacked on Halloween night in Long Beach.
Source: Google Maps