Four arrested over brutal attack on Texas gay couple
Four men have been arrested over a suspected homophobic attack on a gay couple in Austin, Texas.
Police confirmed that four men have been arrested over the January 18 assault on Spencer Deehring and Tristan Perry, who were attacked by a group in downtown Austin.
Frank Macias and Miguel Macias, who are brothers, were arrested over the attack alongside Quinn O’Connor and Kolby Monnell between February 11-12, local outlet KXAN reports.
The four men have been charged with aggravated assault and are being held on a collective $300,000 bond, according to the outlet.
Four men to face hate crime charges over Austin attack
The two victims told police they were branded “faggots” before being kicked and punched to the ground.
A police affidavit states that Perry “sustained a fractured nose, bruised orbital eye socket, concussion, chipped front teeth, lacerations, stitches and bruised ribs,” while Spencer “sustained a concussion, injuries to his neck and bruising.”
Fox 4 reports that Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore intends to seek hate crime charges against the group of men, raising the charges against them to first-degree felonies that are likely to carry a lengthy sentence.
However, the district attorney noted that due to the way Texas hate crime laws are written, there are very high thresholds for a conviction.
Moore told the outlet: “The challenge is the way this is drafted, we have to prove an additional element of the offence and if you don’t have strong evidence it often isn’t worth it to allege the hate crime.
“You want to make your case [to] get the guilty verdict, not just an enhancement on punishment. So it makes it harder in the state of Texas.”
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