Gay Man Says Beating Outside Hillcrest Eatery Was Hate Crime

A man claims he is a victim of a hate crime after being attacked outside a popular restaurant in the Hillcrest area, 10News reported.

Bronti Kelly told 10News he was walking along the sidewalk in front of Baja Betty's when out of nowhere a man hit him in the back of the head.

Kelly was released from the hospital Thursday evening after he said he was beaten into unconsciousness just after 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Kelly, who is gay, said he believes it was nothing more than a random hate crime carried out by a man in his 30s. Kelly also said he thinks his attacker was a skinhead.

"He ran up behind me, knocked me to the ground, then picked me up, punched me about 3 or 4 times, and then I was out," said Kelly.

Kelly was diagnosed with a concussion and had to have 18 stitches sewn into his forehead. Four of his upper front teeth were knocked out.

Police told 10News that at no time has Kelly reported to them that a hate crime occurred. Police said Kelly acknowledged being assaulted by a man while walking down the sidewalk in Hillcrest.

"I'm a gay male. He targeted me as a gay male. That's what makes it a hate crime," said Kelly.

Kelly told 10News he just wants justice served and wants the man who beat him bloody caught.

"He was a Caucasian male, short hair, slight mustache, tattoo on the left side on his shoulder, white T-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers," said Kelly.

If the man is arrested, police said he would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.