Gay Men Beaten And Robbed In Ohio, Police Department “Doesn’t Recognize [It] As A Hate Crime”

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 3.13.47 PMA 22-year-old man from Norwalk, OH, believes his self-described “flamboyant” personality is what triggered an anti-gay assault on he and a friend outside a neighborhood 7-Eleven early Monday morning.

Both 22-year-old victims were confronted by their assailants, 23-year-old Angel Kennedy and 18-year-old Neno Miller, inside the store just moments before they were jumped outside. According to reports, the boys were repeatedly punched in the face and kicked in the ribs before being robbed of their wallets.

Though surveillance cameras captured grainy footage of all four men inside the store, there’s no footage of the attack, which happened around the corner on the side of the building. After fleeing, the suspects were apprehended a few blocks away after a neighbor notified police of suspicious activity.

Detective Wichman, the man assigned to this case, recognizes that the boys were beaten “because of their sexual orientation,” but says “Ohio Revised Code..doesn’t recognize what happened as a hate crime. We had looked into it and according to the prosecutor, it doesn’t fall under a hate crime.”

The attack comes less than a month after a string of reported hate crimes happened in Columbus, independently of each other, within a matter of weeks. Were they also not considered hate crimes?