AUSTIN (KXAN) - Two men who were assaulted in Downtown Austin last weekend believe they were targeted because of their sexual orientation.
The assault happened just after midnight on Saturday at the corner of West Fourth Street and Colorado Street. The area was bustling since it was Austin Pride Fest and the Austin PRIDE parade just wrapped a few hours earlier.
According to Nicholas Soret, he and his friend, Andrew Oppleman were getting pizza at a food trailer when another customer nearby said "you're standing too close to me." Soret said that's when the random man started assaulting them.
The unknown male grabbed Soret's pizza and threw it on him – then he proceeded to start punching him.
"He knocked Andrew's teeth out and he fractured my nose," recounted Soret. "I have a small fracture and some heavy bruising and a slight concussion."
Oppleman lost six teeth and was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge for treatment.
Soret said the man who assaulted them was an Asian male.
The victims are hoping that witnesses will come forward and let authorities know if they saw or heard anything when the assault occurred. No one has been arrested in this case.
Austin police are investigating this case but they have not classified it as a hate crime – it will be up to the District Attorney's office to determine whether or not it was a hate crime.
When it comes to cases like this, police say they look for any bias indicators to see if sexual orientation was the cause of the incident.
To raise awareness to hate crimes, GetEQUAL Texas along with other LGBQT agencies will be hosting a March Against Hate rally on Saturday at Republic Square Park.
Oppleman is scheduled to speak as well.
- 11:45 a.m. Meet at Republic Square Park
- 12:00 p.m. March to the State Capitol
- 12:20 p.m. Arrive at the Capitol
- 12:30 p.m. Speeches Begin
A local road project more than two decades in the making won't save drivers as much time as many had hoped.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
Two men were arrested and a third was being sought by police for the shooting death of 47-year-old Russell Martens.
Parking arrangements are a bit different this year at Austin's Trail of Lights, but there are options to suit just about anybody.
After two hours of discussion regarding the final design for Auditorium Shores, the Austin City Council decided to approve the design on a vote of 7-0 with amendments.