Cleveland police investigating possible hate crime after gay man attacked outside Cocktails Lounge

CLEVELAND - Cleveland police are investigating after a man says he was attacked outside a bar on the city's west side.

The incident happened just before midnight on Saturday in the area of West 93rd Street and Detroit Avenue. Cleveland police said they received four calls about a group of males disturbing the area and assaulting a customer at Cocktails Lounge.

"Last night I was the victim of a hate crime. I was walking into a bar on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. I was walking from my parked car. I got out and I saw a group of youth on the side of the street,"  Jared Fox said in a YouTube video. "Instincts and my experience with youth was that kids in a large group just aren't up any good."

[Watch Jared Fox's YouTube video below. Mobile viewers can use this link: http://on.wews.com/1aeFdAH ]

"They started to just charge and they surrounded me," Fox said. He said they asked for him money and used anti-gay slurs. "They thought I was an easy target."

"They just started beating me," Fox said. "They punched my glasses into my face and sliced it right there" he said while pointing to the cut on his nose. He said he also suffered a ruptured eardrum. "They stomped on me, my back, my ribs while I was on the ground."

Fox said he tried to run from the group, but they tackled him.

"One of them asked 'Do you want to die?'" Fox said. "I thought 'No, who wants to die? Not me.'"

He said he threw his wallet at the group and then started pounding on doors of nearby houses. He said he credits the bartender at Cocktails for finding an EMT, calling police and helping patch him up.

When police officers arrived, the man's attackers were gone. Cleveland police said they searched the area, but didn't find the suspects.

The incident is being investigated as a robbery and hate crime, according to Cleveland police.

Anyone with information should call the First District Detective Bureau at 216-623-5118. Anonymous tips can be given to Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463 or by texting "TIP657" to 274637.

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