Police in Texas announced the arrests of four suspects in last month’s beating of a gay couple—and said that they’re currently treating the case as a hate crime.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that four men—Frank Macias, 22; Miguel Macias, 20; Quinn O’Connor, 21; and Kolby Monnell—were arrested Tuesday in connection with the January 19 attack on Spencer Deehring and Tristan Perry, who were exiting a gay nightclub at the time. Documents stated that Deehring and Perry were leaving Rain nightclub in downtown Austin, hugging and holding hands, when one of the men hurled homophobic slurs at them before the group followed and attacked them.
Authorities said things turned violent when Perry turned around to verbally defend himself and one of the men punched him. Perry fell to the ground and the men allegedly pummelled Deerhring as he tried to defend his boyfriend. With the couple on the ground, the suspects continued to punch and kick them until a witness called police, according to the news outlet.
Medics found Deehring and Perry unconscious on Third Street and Congress Avenue and rushed them to the hospital. The American-Statesman reported that doctors determined Deehring suffered a minor concussion and several cuts while Perry sustained a major concussion, internal bleeding, chipped teeth, and a broken nose.
The four suspects are said to have fled the scene before officers arrived. KXAN reported that blurred surveillance footage captured the attack while another nearby camera caught clearer images of the accused assailants before the assault.
Police said a tip sent into the tipline named Frank and O’Connor as suspects. From there, police leading used social media to connect Miguel and Monnel to the assault, according to the news station.
NBC News reported that Frank confessed to carrying out the 2:30 a.m. assault and implicated his brother and the two other men in the crime.
The four men were charged with two counts of aggravated assault with bodily injury, a second-degree felony. The American-Statesman reported that Frank is also currently jailed for a felony and three misdemeanors which occurred in another county. His bail was set at $300,000.
The Austin Police Department announced that they’re investigating the January 19 incident as a hate crime. Moreover, District Attorney Margaret Moore said she’s confident that the suspects’ charges will be upgraded to first-degree felonies as she believes their actions constitute as hate crimes.
KVUE reported that Perry and Deehring declined to speak with the media but said on Facebook that they’re thankful for everyone who played a role in the arrests.
“To the victims, Spencer and Tristan, we took this case very seriously and we worked a lot of hours to solve this case,” police assistant chief Ely Reyes said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “Hate crime is a very serious crime, and not one that will be tolerated here in the city of Austin.”
LIVE: Police provide updates after making arrest in Downtown Austin hate crime investigation. http://bit.ly/2N3Sq5B
Posted by KVUE on Tuesday, February 12, 2019
[Featured image: Tristan Perry, Spencer Deehring/GoFundMe]