HOUSTON — The family of a Texas teen who says he was lured to a local park only to be jumped and beaten because he is gay, is calling for the attack to be investigated as a hate crime.
Dylan Beard, 17, suffered a bloodied tongue, a broken nose, a black eye, a bruised rib, chipped teeth and lacerations to his knees and elbows after the alleged attack on Oct. 12 in Baytown, Texas, reports the Houston Chronicle.
Dylan is homeschooled, and though he says he is familiar with his attackers, he does not know them well. They had never attacked or insulted him before.
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“It’s tough being gay. It’s tough. Because we are out of the norm I guess. They lured me indirectly. They had one of their friends, who I’m also friends with, tell me to come up there and they walked up and did it,” Dylan told KHOU-TV.
Dylan says a girl started hitting him.
“Then two of her friends who are guys jumped in and they all started hitting me, got on the ground hit me and punched me,” he said.
That girl is now facing an assault charge, but Dylan’s family and local community activists say that’s not enough. They’re asking the U.S. Department of Justice to step in and investigate the assault as an anti-gay hate crime.
They say the Baytown police department was negligent in the case by allegedly ignoring witnesses, refusing statements and openly insulting Dylan, all because he is gay.