BIRMINGHAM, UK — (08-22-21) — Police have announced they’ve arrested one of four suspects they are looking for in the brutal hate crime attack against two gay men on Saturday, August 15. The two men were brutally attacked with bottles and taunted with homophobic slurs from four men in a black SUV.
The 31-year-old suspect now in custody was booked on suspicion of wounding after turning himself into police on Saturday and remains in jail as of this report. Inspector Lloyd told JRL CHARTS that police are still searching for two more suspects – Sohail Khan, 24, and Ishaaq Ayaz, 21, both Birmingham residents.
According to police, the two gay men identified as Rob and Patrick, were standing outside the Missing Bar on Saturday night when four insecure men in a black SUV shouted homophobic slurs at them before exiting the SUV to assault the two men.
Both men were left covered in blood while Patrick was knocked unconscious after suffering cuts to their head and arms. Inspector Steve Lloyd from West Midlands police, told media outlets that police are working with businesses in the area to “reassure them that we are taking this appalling hate crime very seriously”.
“This was an absolutely appalling attack and robbery on people just trying to enjoy a night out in the city centre,” said Inspector Lloyd. “They’ve suffered homophobic abuse before being physically injured, and we are working incredibly hard to find those responsible.” said Lloyd.
During the attack, Patrick had his phone snatched by one of the hate crime attackers as he attempted to film the attack. In fact one of their female friends was dragged along by the car as she tried to get it back. The woman, who is in her 20s, suffered a foot injury.
Running on pure adrenaline, Rob ran after the car to challenge the men before they stopped at a red light. The men got out of their car and this time attacked Rob with bottles. Patrick said he ran to help but was then knocked unconscious by one of the men.
“It’s just shocking that would happen in 2021 in the UK. Especially in the Gay Village, that should be a safe area to be who you want and not have to tolerate people yelling homophobic remarks at you.” Rob told the BBC.
Woke up today to these messages- Ron & Patrick were brutally attacked outside @MissingBarBrum last night. Another Day, another horrific homophobic attack on the #LGBTQI community. – These attacks are unfortunately becoming more & more frequent. ? pic.twitter.com/Pa1gJz531i
— Linda Riley (@LindaRiley8) August 15, 2021
Detectives said they were carrying out urgent inquiries to identify the attackers and their vehicle. CCTV footage has been recovered and being reviewed. The men in the car were described as being of Middle Eastern or Asian appearance, said Inspector Lloyd.
Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands and the first openly gay directly elected metro mayor, released the following statement:
“There is no place in our home for this disgusting, homophobic behaviour. I’m sure the police will do all they can to catch the perpetrators and punish them with the full force of the law.”
According to the BBC, “homophobic hate crime cases almost trebled from 6,655 in 2014-15 to 18,465 in 2019-20”, data obtained by the BBC showed.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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