Superior Twp man attacked in suspected hate crime

A man was attacked in Superior Township and he says it was not a random attack.

The victim, who was out with his boyfriend, told investigators he believes he was targeted because he's gay. 

The beating followed a night out at Powell's Pub in Ypsilanti Monday, and it's possible the couple, two men in their early 20s, were followed home.

One man went inside a condo in the 8100 block of Autumns Wood Trail in Superior Township, and the other remained in the car. He was texting a friend when he noticed a vehicle pull up behind him.

Derrick Jackson from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office says he was punched and kicked in the face repeatedly. 

"Four young black men get out of the car, approach him and then just start to beat on him," Jackson said. "And they assault him pretty good, rough him up pretty bad."

Investigators say the man was punched and kicked in the face repeatedly. The victim's friend, who also lives here, says the driveway was covered with blood. 

"There was nothing directed at them verbally," Jackson said. "But they believe they were out together, there was some public displays of affection and there was nothing else." 

The victim did not get a good look at his attackers or the car they were driving.

"Things like this do happen. We're going to react, not with violence but with action by petitioning the governor and the legislature to amend the hate crimes act to include sexual orientation and gender identity," says Brad O'Connor, who heads up the Jim Toy Community Center, a gay rights organization in Ann Arbor. 

Last April, Washtenaw County Sheriff deputies released a sketch of a man who reportedly punched and knocked a gay woman unconscious after asking if she was one of the people who got married on the the news.

"We always take assaults or any crimes serious," Jackson said. "But anything targeting someone based on sexual orientation or race or anything of that nature is a serious situation and scary to be quite honest.

"You can be out with a loved one or family or friends and just because someone doesn't like the way you look or act and attack you that's a pretty serious thing to have happen." 

If you have any information about what happened, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak-Up. You will remain anonymous. 

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