DC Yoga Instructor's Jaw Broken In Anti-Gay Bashing Incident
|Michael Hall Jr. from Facebook|
WASHINGTON -- A Metropolitan Police spokesperson acknowledged Monday that a hate crime investigation is under way after a gay couple’s Saturday night out ended in a brutal beating. One of the victims, 29-year-old Michael Hall Jr., suffered a broken jaw and fractured cheekbone in the attack and had emergency surgery performed early Monday morning at the Howard University Hospital Centre.
According to WRC-TV, Hall, a local yoga instructor, and his boyfriend were heading home from a restaurant just after midnight Sunday when they were ambushed by about five teenagers in the Eckington section of northeast D.C.
Hall's boyfriend, Michael Roike, told NBC4; “Four or five kids just came out of nowhere without any warning,” Roike said. “We didn’t think it was a robbery because they didn’t immediately ask for something. They just came out swinging and hitting.”
A woman and her boyfriend went to their aid and managed to get them to safety.Roike said he’s not sure if he and his boyfriend were attacked because of their sexuality.
“I can’t think of another reason other than we got out of a fancy town car and we were walking in a not great part of town at a late hour,” Roike said. “We were probably holding hands. It could have been because we’re gay, but I don’t know for sure.”
Hall's parents, Mike and Gail Hall of Colonial Beach, Virginia- which is located a few hours south of the District- told the station that they worried for their son’s safety when he moved to the District nine years ago.
“Every morning, get up and turn Channel 4 news on and see if he was alive or not, who got killed or stabbed,” Mike Hall said.
“My biggest nightmare was that this would happen eventually,” Gail Hall said.The Halls got the phone call they always feared Sunday morning.
“It’s so unnecessary in this day and age, when everybody could just get along,” Gail Hall said.
The Metropolitan Police spokesperson told LGBTQNation that the investigation was active and that no suspects had been identified nor arrests made as of Monday evening.