VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say three young men yelling gay slurs beat up, stabbed and robbed a 34-year-old man in San Bernardino County late last month.
The San Bernardino County sheriff-coroner’s department says 22-year-old Robert Fraire of Victorville and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested in connection with the assault.READ MORE: Ducks Fall Short Against Capitals In 4-3 Shootout Loss
A warrant has been issued for the third suspect, identified by deputies as 23-year-old Ethan Walker of Victorville.
Authorities said the suspects used rocks, a two by four and bottles to attack the victim about 8:23 p.m. Oct. 28 on Mall Boulevard and Petaluma Road in Victorville.
According to authorities, a friendship developed between the victim and Walker during which point Walker asked the victim if he was gay and began to yell at the victim.
The following day, Walker called the victim, apologized and offered to walk the victim to work, authorities said.
It was at that point authorities say the victim was attacked by the suspects in a set-up. The victim’s wallet and cellphone were taken during the assault, authorities said.
Wednesday evening, KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz spoke to the victim, a man we referred to as Paul, to protect his identity.
The victim is speaking out in a story that is Only On 2.
“Hate doesn’t belong in this world,” he told Cruz.READ MORE: New Recall Efforts Launched Against LA County District Attorney George Gascón
She asked him if he thought they were going to kill him.
“There were moments that it seemed like it and the only reason that it stopped is because I just kind of laid there,” he said.
Paul said he pretended to be dead. He was bleeding from the head and stabbed in the leg. They referred several times, he says, to hoping he “learned his lesson” and that he shouldn’t be gay.
He says he knew his attackers from working in the same mall.
“They were always nice, kinda,” Paul says, “They’d say, ‘Hey, how’s it going?'”
He says all that changed when Walker learned Paul was gay.
“It disgusts me to feel that way,” Paul says, “to look over my shoulder and wonder what are people’s intentions.”
Paul is still finding it hard to believe he experienced a hate crime.
“I hope that he [Walker] realizes this kind of hate is not tolerated anymore,” Paul said.MORE NEWS: Inside The New Apple TV+ Series 'Swagger' Inspired By Kevin Durant
Anyone with information as to Walker’s whereabouts was asked to contact Detective Dana Weinberg at (760) 241-2911. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or at http://www.wetip.com.