Detroit police investigating videotaped attack during gay pride

Detroit police investigating videotaped attack during gay pride event

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DETROIT (WJBK) - The video of a young man getting attacked and beaten by a group of guys along Detroit's riverwalk Sunday evening is difficult to watch.
It's even more upsetting when you find out why. The victim says it happened because he's gay.

"It's crazy how he just spotted me out though. There was so many gay people on the river walk. Out of all people, maybe it's because of my hair, I don't know," says Chong Lee.

The 20-year-old had stopped to pose for a picture. The future hairstylist had just left the gay pride celebration at Hart Plaza when a guy started talking trash.

"He just kept on commenting on my hair. 'You got the nerve to have long hair in, long weave, you faggot,' and this and that. And then his friends started calling me faggot and then that's when he started walking up," Lee says.

Lee says he tried his best to ignore them but they wouldn't leave him alone. The men then exchanged insults and Lee even yells, 'Hit me!'

And then the fight was on with the suspect's friends jumping in and jumping on Lee as a crowded riverwalk stood and watched.

"Nobody came to help or anything. I didn't think it was going to stop. I'm like, okay, so what's next? Am I about to get stabbed in my neck, my hand, my back, anything? I was just on the ground thinking the whole entire time," he says.

Lee's sustained a bloody eye, a bruised forehead and a fractured finger.

His mother says she's grateful they didn't kill him.

"I thank God that they didn't do that but I just still don't understand why did they do that. Everybody has a right to how they want to live their life. If they want to be gay that's their preference and people should respect that," says Tamara Howard.

She just doesn't understand how this could happen to her son.

"Me and his father, we are very supportive of him because we love him. And for somebody to just beat on him because they don't like him because he's gay, that's not acceptable. That's not acceptable and I want justice to be served," Howard says.

And Detroit Police Chief James Craig says they are taking this very seriously.

"We are investigating the hate crime that occurred at the festival," he says.

Meantime Lee says he wants everyone to see the video.

"Everybody needs to see what gay people go through on an every day basis, whether it's just name calling, whether we're fighting or anything. People need to see what we go through and it just needs to stop," Lee says.

FOX 2's Amy Lange reports tips are already coming in but if anyone recognizes the men in the video who are fighting you're asked to contact Detroit police.
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