Hampshire police are on the lookout for three youths who attacked a gay couple earlier this week.
On December 4, 33-year-old Jamie Edwards and 26-year-old Damian Hampton were shopping at their local One Stop store when they were confronted by the group of teenagers. The three youths, all dressed in hoodies and balaclavas, followed the couple out of the store. The youths then started yelling anti-gay slurs while trailing behind the couple on their walk home. Unfortunately, the interaction then became physical.
According to the Daily Echo, the fight started with the couple being punched from behind. They were then “booted in the face.”
“It happened so fast,” recounted Edwards. “Within seconds they had caught up and punched Damian in the face. They ripped my clothes and wouldn’t stop kicking us while we were on the ground.
“We had never even seen or spoke to them before, it was a totally unprovoked and unexpected attack.”
“It’s more of a pride thing, I had to watch my boyfriend being booted on the floor and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.”
After the fight, which lasted about four minutes, the two called the police and sought medical attention. They both received bruising to their arms, legs, and ribs. In addition, they received cuts and grazes to their hands.
On top of recovering physically, the two are trying to recover mentally and financially. The two expressed fear of going out on that same walk ever again. In addition, Edwards has been missing his painting and decorating gigs because of his recovery time.
The police are now investigating the situation and are treating it as a hate crime.
“We are investigating an assault which took place near the One Stop shop in North East Road, Sholing at around 3.45pm on December 4,” said a Hampshire Police spokesperson.
“Anyone with information, or who witnessed this incident, is asked to contact police on 101, quoting the reference number 44190436605.”
Source: The Daily Echo