SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) is investigating an assault that occurred Sunday, which reportedly included the use of homophobic hate speech.
SLCPD wants to alert the community about the incident, and to reassure everyone that the case is being investigated.
The assault “does not appear to be targeted,” according to a press release, nor does it appear to be a “stranger-on-stranger attack.”
SLCPD reports that the specific motive of the assault remains unknown at this time, however, because hate speech was used, the case is being investigated as a hate crime.
At around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, SLCPD received information about an assault in progress near 154 W 600 S.
Based on the information given, a group of three people in their early 20s had been at an event celebrating Pride and were walking when they saw a fight between a man and a woman.
A man from the group reportedly attempted to intervene, when the suspect directed his attention to him. The suspect and the group of three had met earlier at a prior event on Saturday, June 4, according to witness statements.
The suspect reportedly started yelling hate speech and punched the man who tried to intervene.
Police say the victim’s two friends tried to stop the assault, but they too were punched. The suspect continued to use homophobic hate speech toward all three of victims, authorities say.
The assault caused minor injuries to two of the victims, while the third person suffered a head injury but chose not to be taken to the hospital by paramedics or to receive medical treatment at the scene, the release states.
Officers attempted to locate the suspect but reportedly could not find him. SLCPD says they have “developed some limited information on the suspect’s identity and will be working to further the investigation.”
SLCPD is asking that anyone with information about this case, including photos or videos, please call (801) 799-3000 and reference case number 22-105521.
If you are the victim of a hate crime or any other crime and need to speak with an SLCPD victim advocate, please call their 24/7 hotline at (801) 580-7969.