A gay man has said he was brutally attacked because of his sexuality in downtown Phoenix, Arizona early on Saturday morning (16 March).
It all began when a woman flicked a cigarette in into Cesar Marin’s car and called him a homophobic slur.
‘Before I knew it, I was surrounded in a hail of punches,’ Marin wrote in a Facebook post.
The post, which includes a photo of Marin with bruises and cuts to his face, has now been shared nearly 2,000 times.
‘I was just gay bashed in downtown Phoenix’ Cesar wrote.
‘I was attacked by a mob of 10 people. It all started with 1 girl flicking her cigarette in my car and calling me a faggot.’
‘I felt like I was gonna die’
Phoenix police told ABC 15 they were investigating. They had collected the cigarette and an earring as evidence.
But, they did not confirm if they were classifying the attack as a hate crime.
Cesar told the local news station he believes he was singled out for being gay.
‘I just wanted it to stop, I felt like I was gonna die, I didn’t know how to defend myself, how to protect myself’ he said.
ABC 15 had obtained video of the aftermath of the alleged attack from a nearby restaurant worker.
LGBTI hate crimes rose 17% during 2017 in the US, according to the FBI. More than 1,000 incidents of anti-LGBTI violence were reported to the police.