Huntsville police: Victim didn't report assault as hate crime

Published: Jun. 8, 2015 at 3:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2015 at 3:52 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville police say they are not investigating an assault that happened Friday in downtown Huntsville as a hate crime.

Police say around 2:30 a.m. Friday, a 26-year-old man was leaving Sammy T's in downtown Huntsville when a group of males began harassing a female. The man then got involved in a verbal exchange with the group of males and told them to leave the female alone. Police say when the man confronted them, the other men assaulted him.

According to police, after being assaulted, the man and his friends left downtown and stopped at several different places before calling an ambulance about an hour later to the Taco Bell at Memorial Parkway to check him. He was then taken to Huntsville Hospital with facial injuries.

Huntsville police say the man told officers the incident happened in downtown Huntsville on Friday night and that he was beaten so badly he didn't remember how he got to the hospital.

Police say the victim did not report the incident to Huntsville police as a hate crime, nor did he make mention of it at the time he filed the report. The report was filed as an assault.

On Monday, James Robinson, the executive director of Free2Be Safe, a LGBT advocacy group in Huntsville, released a statement about the incident.

"Everyone has the right and expectation to feel safe in the City of Huntsville. The Huntsville Downtown Entertainment District is promoted as a safe and welcoming place for our community to engage in positive social activities. We call upon the City of Huntsville to take immediate and adequate measures to ensure that the safety of the people visiting the District and all other parts of Huntsville are as safe as possible for our community."

The case is still under investigation and police are currently working to identify the offenders.

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