An anonymous tip led to the arrest of four men accused of brutally attacking a couple who were leaving a gay club holding hands in Austin, Texas last month.
Frank Macias, 22, his brother Miguel Macias, 20 and two others, Quinn O’Connor, 21 and Kolby Monnell were arrested Tuesday in connection with the January beating of Spencer Deehring, 23, and Tristan Perry, 22.
Before they were physically attacked, Deehring told the Houston Chronicle that he and his boyfriend were laughing and holding hands when a man allegedly yelled slurs at them.
"I believe that may have been his motivation to (say) the first slur, at which time it seemed like a tactile approach to getting a rise out of us,” Deehring told the publication not long after the assault. Soon after, Deehring said the man motioned for others to come over.
The group then allegedly assaulted the couple. Deehring said the attackers beat his boyfriend until he was unconscious. Even then, they kicked him in the head, he said.
"At this point, I was fairly certain that that kick had just killed him," Deehring told local outlet WOAI.
Both men had to be hospitalized for their injuries. Perry had a major concussion, internal bleeding, chipped teeth and a broken nose while Deehring had a minor concussion and some lacerations, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
"Today I want to take the opportunity to tell the world why this happened; because I am gay. I never fathomed in my lifetime that I would watch as my boyfriend is kicked in the head and punched repeatedly," Deehring wrote on Facebook the day after the attack. 'I never fathomed I would wake up with a minor concussion and skin-glued lacerations and my boyfriend with a broken nose and stitches."
The Austin Police Department has been investigating the attack as a hate crime, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
"We have chosen love and not hate in how we view the situation we went through last night," Deehring had written on Facebook in the immediate aftermath. "I hope they are caught but I also hope these men that attacked us can someday find the love in their hearts to accept people of all races, religions, genders, and sexualities."
All four suspects are now being held on a collective $300,000 in bonds, according to local NBC affiliate KXAN. Their arrests were aided by surveillance footage of the attack, which led to an anonymous tip naming Frank Macias and O'Connor as suspects. Police later identified the other suspects through social media searches, according to KXAN.
It’s not clear if any of them have lawyers who can speak on their behalf at this time. If the attack is found to be a hate crime, the men could face up to 99 years behind bars.
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