The Salt Lake City Police Department today are asking for the public's help in locating a man suspected of a possible hate crime in an assault that happened Aug. 9 against a gay man.
According to Salt Lake police spokesperson Lara Jones, over 15 people were partying on Capitol Hill's Churchill Drive, a popular location for teens and college-aged adults to meet and drink. Jones said the victim was with his friend and sister and didn't know his assailants, but was friendly with them and had his photo taken with a man who later became his attacker. When one of the men asked if the victim was gay, he answered that he was and things got ugly.
Police said that others in the group began hitting the victim and broke his orbital bone — the series of seven bones that surround and enclose the eyeball. The victim has undergone reconstructive surgery.
Police say that the suspected assailant they are seeking is about 20 years of age and Polynesian. Others in the group are only described as also Polynesian.
Jones said that there are few similarities between this assault and the attack of Dan Fair, who also had his orbital bone broken by Polynesian men. She said that this attack was a clear case of a victim being assaulted because of his "sexual preference."
It was widely reported by the television news media the night before the attack that the Salt Lake County District Attorney's office would notpursue charges against those who assaulted Fair and his partner, David Bell.
Jones declined to comment on the case in South Salt Lake.
The police are asking anyone with information on the Salt Lake beating or the suspect to call them at 799-3000.