Gay Couple Speaks Out After Brutal Assault in Center City

A gay couple who was brutally assaulted in Center City last week is speaking out about what led to the attack.

"They were screaming, 'you dirty f****t, you dirty f****t,'" said one of the victims.

The couple, who wanted to remain anonymous, say the ordeal began Thursday around 10:45 p.m. as they were walking to a pizza shop. The 28 and 26-year-old men were on 16th and Chancellor streets when they say they were approached by a group made up of about a dozen men and women.

The victims say someone in the group asked whether they were a couple. When they told them yes, the group allegedly began to attack 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.

"Three guys were on me taking turns on me," said the 26-year-old victim.

The men say their attackers, who appeared to be drunk, screamed homophobic slurs at them during the assault.

"I had three, four guys on me. I turned around and saw his(my boyfriend's) head hit the ground, like hard," said the 28-year-old victim. "I was horrified. I thought he was dead."

Both men suffered injuries in the attack. The 26-year-old victim, who just returned home from the hospital, says his mouth was wired shut and he'll need eight weeks to recover.

"I have multiple facial fractures on both sides of my face," the man said. "I have an orbital fracture, which is like the eye socket. I had a big laceration that was from the tip of my nose all the way to my lip that was gushing blood."

Police have yet to confirm whether the assault was a hate crime, though both victims insist they were attacked because of their sexual orientation.

"It's not just us," the 28-year-old victim said. "I don't want this to happen to anyone else. It's not fair." 

Police are looking at surveillance video from the area to help track the group down. Investigators have not released a description of the female suspects but say the male suspects had a "husky" build, brown hair and were wearing brown shirts and shorts.

If you have any information on the assault, please call Philadelphia Police.

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