A Cleveland cyclist was beaten up by a teenager while two adults urged him on.
The 30-year-old man was on his way from Stockton to Middlesbrough on Tuesday when a white Mercedes cut him off the road in Thornaby.
Two men and a teenage boy of around 13 got out of the car and asked him if he was gay.
The three of them then made homophobic slurs and the men urged the teen to punch the cyclist in the face. They also tried to destroy his bicycle.
The victim said he didn’t fight back as he did not want to hit a child and was afraid it might escalate the situation.
He said: ‘They went once they realized I wasn’t going to do anything and I wasn’t badly hurt but this isn’t just about me. I think they have done this before and it could have a lot worse for the previous person or the next person.’
He believes they used homophobia as an excuse to satisfy their ‘lust for violence’.
‘They’re absolute scumbags and I can’t imagine what kind of life that child is growing up into.’
The victim also made a complaint to the Cleveland Police after an officer in a patrol car refused to help him after the attack. He says the officer told him he should have called 999.
A spokesperson for the Cleveland Police said: ‘We are looking at the complaint thoroughly to understand the full picture, however, the service the victim received was not acceptable and we understand why he would be dissatisfied.’
The case is being investigated as a hate crime and police are trying to find the white Mercedes as well as the car of a possible witness who drove by the attack.