An attack by a mob at the Utah Pride Festival left one bisexual man bleeding and police searching for clues after as many as 20 assailants took off on foot Saturday.
According to Salt Lake Police Detective Rob Ungricht two gay men sought refuge in the Doki Doki ice cream shop Saturday night at around 10:30 pm after a mob of white men started threatening them with anti-gay slurs.
The attack happened in the middle of the city’s two-day pride festival as the night wound down.
Terrance Mannery, who works at the shop, let the two and barred the mob from entering. According to Mannery and Police, there were at least seven men, but Mannery says several witnesses told him as many as 15-20 were involved.
“I stated that I was not going to allow them in because in my mind, if this group of people was harassing then what is going to happen next?” Mannery told INTO. “So my thought process was let me just make sure everyone inside was safe and after that, we started fighting.”
Mannery said that a man in the mob attacked him, and he tried to fight him off.
“Some chairs we had just put up got knocked down, so no one inside the restaurant could get out,” he said.
Eventually, there were able to leave, however, and the altercation spilled into the street, where bystanders tried to intervene. The gay men were not harmed, but Mannery walked away with a nosebleed, cuts above his eye and a gashed lip.
Mannery is bisexual, but he said that didn’t play into his decision to intervene.
“At the time, I wasn’t really thinking of it that way,” he said. “Maybe subconsciously it pushed a few buttons.”
Ungricht said even though the assailants yelled anti-gay slurs before the attack, it is unlikely to be pursued as a hate crime because Mannery was not the intended target of the slurs.
“So right now what that classifies as is a simple assault,” he said.
Police are appealing to the public for any information that could lead to an arrest in the case.
“We don’t have a lot of physical evidence,” Ungricht said. “We don’t have any video to put out for identification purposes.”
The Utah Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has also posted a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the attacks.
“The UGLCC’s anti-violence fund was created to provide the victims of homophobic or transphobic crimes and to provide resources for the prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes,” the group said in a statement. “The world needs more Terrance Mannery’s.”