A transgender man and his girlfriend say that he was the victim of a hate crime when several men beat him up at a bar this past weekend.
Shane Devereaux and his girlfriend were at the Coyote Bar & Grill in Carlsbad, California for drinks when they say they were approached by three men.
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The group got to talking, and at some point Devereaux said that he’s transgender.
As the couple was leaving the bar, witnesses said that the men followed them out and got into an argument with them that involved “name-calling.” One of the men pushed Devereaux and he fell back on the ground, hitting his head.
Police say that they showed up and opened an investigation. Devereaux refused medical care and walked home, according to police, but a GoFundMe page was set up for him to help cover medical expenses. The fundraiser’s description says that Devereaux suffered from a fractured skull and back injuries and that he was hospitalized.
“Shane can’t talk, can’t move, and can’t use the restroom alone,” the description says. “He is in dire pain.”
Police recorded the attack as “mutual combat” and said that alcohol was involved. Two of the alleged assailants fled the scene before police showed up.
But his friend April Peavey told CBS News 8 that she believes it was a hate crime.
“That is the assumption of what we’ve gone with because we all know Shane,” she said. “We know he wouldn’t have started a fight. We know that he wouldn’t have been aggressive towards anybody. So that’s the only justification that we can come up with, that they would do this. There’s no other reason.”
On Monday, two days after the attack, Devereaux’s girlfriend gave police a statement that they said led them to investigate the attack as a “possible hate crime.”
“We have received conflicting statements about what occurred, and we are working hard to sort the information and find the facts,” Lt. Kevin Lehan said. “We take allegations like these very seriously in Carlsbad.”