SAN DIEGO - A newly married gay couple says a night of celebrating ended with violence after they told a man about their marriage.
"He was with his wife and they seemed like a nice couple, so we struck up a conversation," said Zach.
With his wedding band on his finger, Zach talked to 10News about the couple he and his husband Shawn met on a Saturday afternoon two weeks ago at the bar Club Kensington.
Zach said the man, in his 60s, along with his wife, initially congratulated them on their week-old marriage and invited them to dinner.
After a few drinks, Zach and Shawn offered to cook them dinner at their home just around the corner.
At the house, Zach said after 20 minutes, Shawn and the man's wife went outside for a smoke. Zach said he was talking sports when suddenly the tone changed.
"He looked at me and said, 'I hate f******. Next thing you know, he hit me upside the head," said Zach.
Zach said photos of deep bruises throughout his body reveal what happened next.
He said he blacked out, but then woke up to a beating of 4 to 5 minutes filled with gay slurs. Zach said the man broke wine glasses on his head.
Shawn heard the commotion and came running in and saw his husband.
"He was curled up on the floor and being kicked," said Shawn.
Shawn said the man also hurled glasses and slurs at him before the police were called.
Zach suffered cuts and bruises, but the man was not arrested.
Police said Zach initially said he didn't want to press charges. He said he doesn't remember saying that, but now wants the case prosecuted.
Police told 10News they will be referring the case to the City Attorney's Office for possible misdemeanor battery charges. It's unclear whether a hate crime enhancer might be added.
Dan Gilleon, the couple's attorney, said a civil suit alleging a hate crime will also be filed. Gilleon said the alleged attacker was interviewed by his investigator.
"He calls them perverts and shows a bias against homosexuals. He also said my client tried to molest him, but when we asked him what Zach specifically did, he couldn't remember," said Gilleon.
10News reporter Michael Chen asked Zach, "Did you do or say anything to provoke him?"
"Absolutely not," Zach replied.
"I don't think anybody should be beat in their own homes and called f*****. It's a hate crime," said Shawn.
Gilleon said he also found out the man had just learned his wife wanted a divorce and may have been lashing out at a happily married couple.
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