Monday, June 10, 2013
25-Year-Old Chris Ashcraft Alleges He Was Violently Attacked By Several Men Because Of His Sexual Orientation; Columbus Ohio Police Yet To Classify Assault As Hate Crime
In Columbus, Ohio, a Northern Kentucky man says several men viciously beat him outside a city bar Thursday evening because he is gay. Chris Ashcraft, 25, says he was smoking outside a bar in Ohio’s capital when a man came up to him and asked for help with his car around 9:30 pm. Instead of a thank you for his assistance, the Crescent Springs resident was attacked by several men who left him unconscious in an alley outside Southbend Tavern in Merion Village. “I was taken by surprise. I don’t really remember much from that point on,” Ashcraft said, recounting what he could remember of the incident. “When I was on the ground they kicked me in the face until I was unconscious. My guess, it was an hour to an hour and a half until I woke up.” While Ashcraft claims he doesn’t recall all of the events that occurred that evening, he said one thing is clear: He was targeted because he is gay. “It was a hate crime,” Ashcraft said. “I was hanging out at a gay bar. It’s Pride Month.” Columbus police confirm they are investigating the attack as a robbery because the men took Ashcraft’s wallet. However, they are stopping short of calling the incident a hate crime because there isn’t enough evidence to validate the claim. Ashcraft hopes surveillance video taken around the bar captured the men that attacked him. Columbus police said Saturday evening they don’t have any suspects in the case.