Police Investigating Attack On Chicago Lesbian Couple As A Hate Crime

Chicago police are investigating an attack on a lesbian couple in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago at the hands of up to 10 men as a hate crime, the Tribune reports. 

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The two women clutched each other, pinned against a car by as many as 10 men who taunted them for being gay and took turns punching and kicking them on the dark street.

“It was punches, kicks, everything being thrown at us,” said one of the women, 23. “We just held each other until somebody said, ‘Here come the police.’ ”

The attack occurred late Saturday night as the women walked down North LeClaire Avenue in the South Austin neighborhood on the West Side. 

A man they knew from the neighborhood started following them, the woman said. Earlier that night, the couple had passed him as he stood with other men. As has happened before, the woman's masculine dress prompted anti-gay slurs, she said. The woman's girlfriend, 25, told the men to stop, in vain, the woman said. 

Now, as the man followed them, he kept shouting slurs and daring the woman to fight, she said. “Tell your b---- to stop looking at me,” the man told the woman's girlfriend, whom he knew from high school.

The woman said she did her best to ignore him but he kept following. Her girlfriend tried to reason with the man, asking him to leave the couple alone, the woman said.

But then a second man came up, cursing both of the women, and the first man took a swing and punched the woman, she said. The couple said they fought back and other men quickly joined in, dragging the women apart.

The couple struggled to get back together, pressed against a car as the beating continued and no one came by to help, the woman said. “I didn’t think we were going to make it out,” she said.

According to the women, the attack only stopped once the police presence nearby became known by the men. Though taken to the hospital, the women were not seriously injured, thankfully.