Two men were attacked in the District’s popular U Street corridor early Sunday by assailants who yelled anti-gay slurs, said D.C. police, who are investigating the assault as a possible hate crime.
The victims were hospitalized with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening — though little more was known about the attack. A D.C. police incident report was not ready for release Sunday afternoon, police said.
Authorities are investigating the attack as “potentially being motivated by hate or bias,” the department said in a statement. The incident was categorized as an aggravated assault.
Members of the department’s Special Liaison Branch — a community policing unit that includes the department’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liaison Unit — are working with investigators, police said.
Sunday morning, Jamie Sycamore, a candidate for D.C. Council in Ward 1, issued a tweet expressing concern over the incident, which he said occurred near the Howard Theatre.
“Last night two men were gaybashed outside the @HowardTheatre,” he tweeted. “Our country is in decline, and it’s time to start making change locally to ensure our #DCValues remain strong.”
Sycamore, who knows the victims and was in contact with one of them Sunday, said they suffered injuries including a broken nose and several broken bones.
“As far as I know, they were walking and they started getting called names and they got attacked,” he said.
Sycamore, who lives with his husband and their dog nearby in the Cardozo neighborhood, said news of the attack rattled those in the District’s closely knit LGBTQ community. “This news spread like wildfire in such a close community,” he said.
He said he hoped the perpetrators would be held accountable through a thorough D.C. police investigation.
“We have to send that message that it can’t be tolerated,” he said. “I’m confident in [D.C. police] . . . and I think their work will lead to justice for those that have been impacted in our community. In the meantime, I hope that everyone sends their thoughts to the community and to the victims and so can go on living their truth and being fabulous.”
Police did not provide descriptions of the assailants.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099 or text tips to 50411.