A homophobic mob has pepper-sprayed two gay friends attending San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair at the weekend.
Neil Frias and Jeff White left the leather and fetish festival and was heading to the McDonald’s nearby, where the attack unfolded around 9pm on Saturday night (24 September).
The men were reportedly standing on a sidewalk in front of the restaurant when a blue minivan pulled up.
Five men jumped the two gay men while White was tying his shoe, with the assailants shouting homophobic slurs.
‘They were saying, “You fags are destroying family values,”‘ Frias told SF Gate. ‘I said I didn’t want any trouble, and one of them got out of the van. I thought he was going to take a swing at me, but he sprayed me across the face.’
Frias said a bystander scared the mob away when she threatened to call police. When paramedics arrived, Frias and White both refused medical attention and went back to their hotel.
‘The thing that was the most remarkable about the situation is how unprovoked it was,’ said White. ‘It’s mind-boggling.’
San Francisco police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said officers are searching surveillance video.
‘We take these crimes very seriously,’ said Manfredi. ‘If anybody feels they can attack someone based on their sexual preference, we’re going to go after them and hold them accountable.’