Philadelphia police

Gay Couple Beaten in Possible Hate Crime Attack: Police

A violent attack on two gay men in Center City Thursday night left one of those men in the hospital with multiple fractures, according to sources.

Sources tell NBC10 the 27-year-old and 28-year-old victims were walking from a restaurant in the area of 16th and Chancellor around 10:45 p.m. Thursday. Suddenly they were approached by a visibly intoxicated group of two men and six women.

Witnesses say someone in the group asked, "Is this your f****** boyfriend?"

When one of the victims told them yes, the group allegedly attacked them, punching and kicking them in the face, head and chest.

Police say one of the suspects then snatched a victim's bag containing a cellphone, wallet and credit cards. The group then fled in an unknown direction.

"It was a bunch of screams at first," said witness Geoff Nagle. "...a lot of punching and kicking."

Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous, says he heard the group screaming homophobic slurs.

"It was surprising that it happened in front of me, I never witnessed a hate crime based on that," the witness said. 

Police have yet to confirm that sexual orientation had anything to do with the attack. They're looking for surveillance video from the area to help track the group down.

A friend of the victims who wanted to remain anonymous, told NBC10 the couple has been together for ten years.

One victim was released from the hospital. The second victim will undergo surgery Sunday morning. Sources say both of the second victim's cheekbones were shattered while his jaw was fractured during the attack.

Police have not released a description of the six female suspects but say the two male suspects had a "husky" build, brown hair and were wearing brown shirts and shorts.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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