WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Metropolitan Police have released surveillance pictures of two men considered persons of interest in the August 7 attack of two gay men in the 3100 block of 7th Street NW.
Police are investigating the as a possible hate crime.
“I think gay, and especially trans people are a target now,” said Robert, one of the two people assaulted.
He and Antonio asked not to give their last names, or show their faces, out of concern for their safety.
The attack happened while both men walked past some teens. One of them started shouting gay slurs, and another came up from behind Robert and punched him.
“He (Antonio) was definitely more hurt than I was. I just had a couple of bruises on my head.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser condemned the attack.
“We must stand up for our friends and neighbors, especially right now, when there is too much anti-lgbtq+ rhetoric sweeping our nation,” Bowser wrote on her Twitter page.
It’s a feeling shared by those who live near the crime scene.
“It’s just childish you know? I don’t even know how to explain it,” said Lonnie Shepard. “We’ve got to pray more, love more, accept people for who they are and let them be.”
Both men are recovering from their physical injuries. However, it’s the emotional wounds that will take time.
“Emotionally, I think we’re a both, shaken up? Shaken up, yeah,” said Antonio.
“I think it’s going to take a lot of processing, kind of how we feel about stuff, are we going to feel safe walking down the street again,” Robert added.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099 or the TEXT TIP LINE at 50411. Crime Solvers of Washington, DC currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia.