Edgartown police said two or three assailants attacked a young gay man late Saturday evening, May 17, as he rode his bicycle along a secluded stretch of Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. Police described it as a hate crime.
According to police, the 23-year-old man, who they did not identify, was riding his bicycle where the road passes through Manuel F. Correllus State Forest about 10:30 pm.
“He reported that a vehicle approached from behind him and two or three males exited the vehicle and ran up to him,” police wrote in a Facebook post asking the public for information. “They knocked him off his bicycle and repeatedly punched him in the face and head.” The victim told police his attackers yelled homophobic slurs as they assaulted him.
A passing motorist later saw the injured man beside the road, and called police for help.
Edgartown police Det. Sgt. Chris Dolby said the victim suffered cuts, bruises, and a black eye. He said the social media post has generated some leads, which he is following up.
Under the Massachusetts civil rights statutes, anyone who assaults and injures another person with intent to intimidate because of the person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability can face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.
Police ask anyone with information about the crime to call the Edgartown police department at 508-627-4343 or use the department’s anonymous tip line at 774-310-1190 to text or leave a voice message.