The LGBT community in Long Beach, California is on edge after a slew of violent attacks. At least five gay men were attacked in the last ten days in or near the city's Broadway Corridor, which is known for its thriving LGBT community.
"Long Beach police are investigating three incidents in the last two weeks," reports the Los Angeles Times. "The suspect in one case has been charged with a hate crime, but the other cases are still under investigation, said police spokesman Rico Fernandez." The most recent attack was Sunday at about 1:30AM.
[S]everal men walking on Broadway, two blocks from the site of the initial incident, were approached by another group that used slurs against them, police said. A fight broke out before the groups separated. But the group that made the insults returned shortly afterward with several other people and assaulted three of the men who had been walking down the street, police said.
That incident is still under investigation, and it's not clear whether a hate crime or hate incident would be among the charges if the suspects are arrested, Fernandez said. Police are beefing up patrols in the neighborhood.
Despite the proximity of the incidents, detectives "don't think they're related," reports OC Weekly.
Reported hate crimes had dramatically declined in Long Beach. Twenty-one were reported in 2006. There was only one hate crime reported in the first six months of 2011.
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