CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities are investigating a hate crime that happened in downtown Charleston over the weekend.
Charleston Police say a local man was assaulted by two suspects who yelled homophobic slurs early Saturday morning.
Police responded to Calhoun Street near King Street where the victim told them they had stopped to offer help to a man sitting on the sidewalk and seemed sick.
“Minutes later, a group of individuals approached and pulled the man away from the victim,” police said. “The victim then followed the group of individuals in an effort to ensure that ill man was being cared for.”
While walking, police say the two men from the group began yelling homophobic slurs at the victim.
The victim told the two men he was not confrontational and did not want to fight, but the two men approached and punched the victim multiple times.
Police say the victim was able to run away and called 9-1-1 for help. Officer responded along with Charleston County EMS to treat the victim. He was taken to an area hospital for additional treatment.
“Hate motivated crimes will not be tolerated in the City of Charleston. Although we cannot comment specifically about ongoing investigations, we can say that the City of Charleston has a Hate Intimidation Ordinance and will thoroughly investigate this incident. During Pride Month, Charleston Police Department wants the LGBTQ+ community to know that the department supports them and that prejudice precipitated violence will not be accepted,” said Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds.
Detectives are investigating the assault.
Anyone with information that could aid in the investigation is asked to call (843) 743-7200 and ask for the on-duty central detective.