AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Police say they have charged four men with aggravated assault after a gay couple was beaten in Texas.
Frank Macias, his brother Miguel Macias, Quinn O’Connor and Kolby Monell were in jail Wednesday in Travis County. They each were charged Tuesday with two counts of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, for the Jan. 19 attack in Austin. Their bonds were set at $150,000. Jail records list no attorneys for them.
Prosecutors could seek a hate-crime enhancement from a jury, which would elevate the charges to first-degree felonies.
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore says she believes a strong case exists that Spencer Deehring and Tristan Perry were targeted because they are gay.
Authorities say Deehring told them that he and Perry were holding hands when a man made a derogatory comment as he passed them. Deehring said after he and Perry responded, up to five men attacked them using homophobic slurs.