Seattle police are investigating two reports of anti-gay attacks on Capitol Hill.
In the first case, reported Friday afternoon, a man walked into the East Precinct and said he’d been jumped by two suspects as he was walking down the street.
The victim said the two suspects had surrounded him in the 500 block of Bellevue Avenue E. and shoved him to the ground. As the victim lay on the sidewalk, the suspects began kicking him in the ribs and shouting homophobic slurs.
After the men fled the scene, a witness helped the victim walk home. He later got a ride to the hospital, where he received treatment for injuries to his hands, leg and face, including stitches on his chin. After receiving medial attention, he walked to the East Precinct lobby to report the incident.
The victim told officers he was listening to his headphones just before the attack and didn’t get a good look at the suspects, but said they were both white males, 20 to 30 years old, and were wearing baseball caps.
In a second incident on Capitol Hill, two men called police around 10 PM on May 31st and said a man had followed them down the street, spit on them and shouted anti-gay slurs.
The victims said they were walking in the 1500 block of E. Olive Way, holding hands, when they passed by the suspect, who was sitting on a bench. The suspect began spitting and shouting slurs, and followed the victims down the street. The couple ignored the man, who eventually turned around and walked away.
The victims called police, who searched the neighborhood, but were unable to locate the suspect. The victims described the suspect as a hispanic male, about 5’10, who was wearing black clothing, and carrying a suitcase.
As investigators work to locate video surveillance or other evidence in these attacks, the Seattle Police Department is also ramping up its efforts to prevent and address bias crimes around the city and on Capitol Hill.
Last week, more than 60 Seattle businesses partnered with the department to launch SPD Safe Place, designed to increase the reporting of bias incidents to police, and reduce crimes against the LQBTQ community.
The department is also conducting additional training for officers, to ensure all reported bias crimes are fully documented and tracked through SPD’s SeaStat crime analysis and prevention program.
Detectives are reviewing both Capitol Hill cases, and are asking anyone with information to call SPD’s violent crimes tip line at (206) 233-5000.