Gay couple targeted in alleged hate crime

(KXAN) - A gay couple say they were the target of a homophobic slur, then attacked in downtown Austin, Texas.

Spencer Deehring and Tristan Perry say they love holding hands with each other and being affectionate. A friend had a birthday party Friday night, so the couple and their friends went to several bars downtown to celebrate. The two say they only had two drinks early on in the night and drove downtown, so they wanted to make sure they were sober by the time the night was over.

The two were walking away from a nightclub when a man walked past them and said a homophobic slur.

Deehring recalls making a retort back to the man, saying something like "I'm sorry I couldn't hear you."

The man then called over to his group of friends who were out of sight, and within a few seconds, the group was following Deehring and Perry as they walked to their car.

"They started following behind us pretty closely yelling every expletive you can think of," Deehring said. "The last thing I said to one of the guys before they attacked both of us was like, 'I don't have anything more to say to you guys, we're just going home, leave us alone.'"

That's when Deehring said one of the men punched Perry in the face, breaking his nose and causing him to fall to his knees. Two other men stepped in and hit Perry again until he was laying on the ground. Then another man kicked Perry in the back of the head.

Deehring said he immediately tried to tackle the men who were attacking his boyfriend.

"That was my first reaction, was to stop them from kicking him because he couldn't receive one more blow to the head or he may well have been dead," he said.

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