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Police: Assault on Phoenix men was an anti-gay hate crime

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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A Phoenix man is recovering from a late night attack last Thursday in what police are calling an anti-gay hate crime.

Austin Head, a disc jockey, activist and star of Logo’s “Positive Youth” documentary, and an unidentified friend were attacked by two men while walking home from a local gay bar.

Austin Head
via: Facebook

According to Head, the two men started yelling gay slurs, and then began swinging.

“Two men targeted us for appearing ‘gay’ and (yelled) homophobic slurs,” Head told the Phoenix New Times.

“I was on my bike and my friend was on foot. He was a bit behind, so I stopped and waited on the corner for him to catch up when they crossed the street yelling slurs. They then attacked us both as we tried to flee with my friend attempting to get on the handle bars. They pushed us off the bike then proceeded with punching. I was knocked unconscious and eventually taken to the hospital by ambulance.”

During the fight, Head was knocked out cold.

“After being knocked unconscious, I woke up in the emergency room,” he said.

Watch a report from KNXV-TV:

Jermon Barnes, 22, and Ernie Barnes 24, were arrested shortly after the attack, and were both jailed on assault charges. Investigators said because they apparently targeted Head and his friend because they are gay, the charges were elevated.

Ernie Barnes (left) and Jermon Barnes.
Booking photos.

During the beating, Head suffered cuts, an eye injury and a broken bone in his face.

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