Police Call Attack in Gresham Park a Hate Crime, Search for Other Victims

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Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 8.31.18 PM By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly
A 24-year-old Clackamas man was robbed and assaulted in Vance Park (1400 S.E. 182 Ave.) just after midnight on Thursday in what Gresham police are calling a anti-gay hate crime. "The group of five suspects conspired to lure the man to the park under the guise that he would be meeting a consenting adult male for a sexual encounter," police say in a release. "Once in the park, the group attacked the man and robbed him of his property." Four juveniles (including a 14-year-old female) and 19-year-old Justin Simms of Gresham have been arrested in connection with the assault and charged with robbery in the second degree, intimidation in the first degree, and assault in the third degree (all felony charges). Police say the alleged assailants wore masks and "displayed guns as they punched and kicked the victim, stealing his wallet, cell phone and other personal items." The victim has not been identified, but police say he did not suffer any serious injuries. They are, however, concerned that other gay men may have been similarly targeted and encourage other victims and anyone with information to contact the Gresham Detective Scott Hogan at 503-618-3141 or the Police Tip Line at 503-618-2719 or 1-888-989-3505. Police say they will take care to protect the identities of any victims who come forward.