A high school student says he was lured to a local park by people he thought were his friends. They then beat him because he's gay.
Two weeks ago, 17-year old Dylan Beard was lured to a skate park in Baytown, Texas by one friend, then beaten by others. They called him "faggot," and "booty lover." They broke his nose, punched him, kicked him in the ribs, and left him with chipped teeth, severe bruises and lacerations on his knees, elbows and face.
Dylan's mother says the local police aren't doing enough, and she's hired a lawyer who's now asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate this as a hate crime.
"We are asking for the Department Of Justice to step in and investigate this assault as a hate crime. It was planned to target him because he's gay," Quanell X, Beard's attorney, said in a press conference yesterday. He accuses police of being negligent, ignoring witnesses, refusing statements, and insulting Dylan, just because he's gay.
"It doesn't make you a man, it doesn't make you a tough guy, it doesn't make you some real person to be proud of because you want to prey on a little kid because he's gay," Quanell X added. "Why don't you pick on somebody your own size? Why won't you pick on some men who you know will fight you back?"
"This little kid does not deserve to be treated like this. Whether you agree or disagree with his sexual orientation, or not, it does not give anyone the right to treat him like he's less than a human being and rob him of his human and civil rights."
The suspects are a 17-year-old girl and two male friends, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Baytown Police should have been more sensitive to the case, rather than having a "nonchalant" attitude with Beard and his mother, he said.
Beard is homeschooled, and though he is familiar with his attackers, he said he does not know them well. They had never attacked or insulted him before.
"It was horrendous, I just couldn't even believe what I was seeing," Jennifer Beard said "This is a park that we're all supposed to be able to get to ... I'm scared to let him go, but I know all his friends are going to be there. I don't know what's going to (happen) there. It scares me now that he can be jumped because he's gay."
A mutual friend of Beard and the girl lured Beard to the skate park so that he could be attacked, according to the activist. Afterward, the perpetrators allegedly bragged about their actions on social media.
Police, who are accused of using anti-gay slurs, say they weren't aware the suspects had bragged on Facebook, but Dylan's mother says that's how she first learned of the attack, even before her son came home from the park.
Video and screenshots via KHOU