Metro Weekly

Gay couple viciously attacked in Ohio: “I thought I was going to die”

Attackers told them "God hates fags"

Mantej Sandhu, Photo: 10TV / Screenshot

A gay couple have been brutally assaulted in Columbus, Ohio, in an attack they believe was motivated by their sexuality.

Speaking to 10TV, Bryson Beier and Mantej Sandhu said that the attack happened early in the morning, Jan. 28, as they were walking home.

“A group of four or five black guys were walking to their car and they just started saying like ‘f****’ to us and stuff like that, and we were like what? And just kept walking. And they were like, ‘God hates f***,” said Sandhu. “Then all of the sudden a bottle gets thrown at us. And they were saying, ‘You’re going to hell,’ and all that stuff. We at that point stopped, turned around, we took a photo of the license plate.”

However, a second car with another four or five men apparently then pulled up, and both groups proceeded to attack the couple.

“They were like, ‘You trying to mess with my boy?’ And then all of the sudden they start, they punch me in the face, throw me on the ground. and next to me he was going through the same thing with the other five black guys,” said Sandhu. “Each took a turn- punch, kick. Punch, kick. They were like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ Punch, kick. ‘You like that?'”

“I don’t know if it was like my own personal self-protection or what, but my vision went black and my brain just kind of shut down and I almost stopped feeling for a minute,” added Beier.

Sandhu was left with a swollen, bloody face, while Beier says his nose is fractured and his body covered in bruises.

“I was crying and begging them to stop, and I just know that whatever they were looking for, they did not find,” he said.

“It leaves you feeling very empty and very unassured of everything,” he added. “And everyone.”

Beier and Sandhu had moved to Columbus from California just a week and a half before they were attacked, purposefully choosing to live in what they thought would be a welcoming neighborhood.

Columbus recognizes hate crimes based on sexuality or gender identity, but the decision of whether or not the attack constitutes such a crime lies with the Columbus Police, who are currently investigating.

“It’s disheartening to know that there’s still that much hatred even in Columbus and across Ohio,” Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization Associate Director Aaron Eckhardt said in a statement, adding: “Certainly a few weeks ago and then in the last week I think we’ve seen what we’re comfortable calling, a seeming increase in harassment on the street.”

Watch 10TV’s report below:

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