Hate Crime

Three men noticed a gay couple walking hand-in-hand. Then they attacked.

Orilla waterfront. Via CTV News

Police in Canada have charged three men with assault after attacking a gay couple. The men in question verbally harassed and physically assaulted the couple before driving off, dragging one of the victims behind their car.

Law enforcement has charged James Ley, 23, and Eric Artindale & Roarke McCooeye, both 21, with assault. Ley was also charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle.

Related: His attackers yelled “f*ggot” as they beat him. Cops say it’s not a hate crime.

The Canadian website Simcoe reports that the three suspects drove past the area and noticed the gay couple walking along the waterfront in the city of Orilla on August 28. As they noticed the couple holding hands, the three assailants began shouting homophobic slurs. The car then left the area, only to drive back a second time. At that point, one of the suspects sprayed beer on the couple and hurled a can at one of the men. When the car returned a third time, one of the victims tried to confront the men about their harassment. Then things took a more violent turn.

As the victim approached the car to confront the driver, the three suspects drove off, dragging the victim along beside the car. The car drove about 25 meters (82 feet) before coming to a stop. Luckily, the victim was not seriously injured.

Police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and arrested Ley, Artindale and McCooeye. All three suspects have since been released, pending a court date on November 17.