Presumed gay SE Portland man beaten in hate-crime

Sketch of the suspect in the anti-gay beating

Although the assault happened over a month ago on November 1st the Mercury has just broken the story of a SE Portland man who was gay-bashed while walking home after police issued an alert today.

According to the Portland police alert that went out today, a man was walking home alone from a friend’s house just after midnight on November 1st and had to cross over the scary, barbed wire-encircled pedestrian walkway that goes over the train tracks at SE 16th and Brooklyn. This is an unsettling area—there is not much light at all and neighbors built an unpermitted skatepark at the base of the walkway, in part because the land was derelict and a magnet for crime.

At the bottom of the overpass, a man described as 6’1, muscular, white with freckles, and blond “made remarks” to the victim’s about his sexual orientation. The muscular man, who was on a bike and accompanied by a friend on a bike, proceeded to severely beat the victim, leaving him unconscious on the street with serious head and abdominal injuries.

We often think of Portland as such a safe place for queers, the LGBT community and anyone else that out of the normative. We are, after all, a city that aims to keep itself “weird.” But crimes against people based on their sexual orientation or gender now outnumber reported racial hate crimes in Portland based on the police stats and we’ve heard about many instances of harassment and assault over the past 2 years. Gay-bashing and related incidents have prompted community forums and the creation of Q Patrol, a community based policing initiative propelled by the queer community.

If you have any information about this case or the suspect, please call 503-823-HELP or leave an anonymous tip here.

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