News (World)

Group of men brazenly beat & rob a gay couple in the middle of a busy street

Three of the four alleged assailants as they continue attacking the victim
Three of the four alleged assailants as they continue attacking the victim Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

Police are on the search for assailants that kicked, punched, spat on and robbed a couple this weekend to the point they were left “trembling” and needed attention at the hospital.

The police are looking for approximately four men in their twenties. The attack is being investigated as a hate crime.

Related: Ex-college student is sent to prison after coming out to try proving he’s not a neo-Nazi

The assault took place on the evening of July 30 near the center of New Town in Edinburgh, Scotland. The two victims were walking on Leith Street outside the OMNi Centre complex when the attack started.

The assailants were seen as they began kicking and punching the couple, continuing as the victims fell to the ground, bleeding while they left off with their belongings.

An eyewitness told the Edinburgh Evening News that the attack “was unprovoked entirely – the gay men did not fight back, they only tried to defend themselves.”

According to the eyewitness, “The boys were laughing, egging each other on and calling the victims ‘poofs,'” referring to a dated pejorative term for effeminates men. “Another girl (at the scene) heard them say poofs explicitly.”

Footage of the attack has been shared online. The Evening News found screenshots of the footage as one of the victims is being kicked and robbed in the middle of an intersection with traffic oncoming.

Other online users and eyewitnesses shared photos and other information they found.

Local bus company Lothian Buses said on Twitter that their police liaison will share any footage from their buses that may be relevant to Police Scotland’s investigation.

“We understand hate crimes can have a huge impact on those targeted, and an attack on people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race or beliefs, is not only abhorrent but will not be tolerated,” said Police Scotland Detective Investigator Mark McGraw in a statement.

He asked “anyone who was in the Leith Street area of Edinburgh at around 9.20pm on Friday, 30 July, and may have information that could assist with our enquiry is urged to contact Police Scotland, quoting reference number 3663 of 30 July.”

Police Scotland noted that the men “weren’t seriously injured” and are recovering.

The incident follows a week of other assaults in the Edinburgh area, including a priest beaten outside of St. Mary’s Cathedral on July 26 and a sexual assault of a woman on a nearby street on July 29.

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