Turtle Creek Chorale members attacked, called gay slurs in apparent hate crime

Two members of the Turtle Creek Chorale gay men’s chorus were assaulted last weekend in an attack Dallas police have classified as a hate crime.

Ryan Short and Tri Truong went to a friend’s house Saturday, Oct. 27, for a game night. The two drove back to Short’s residence on Rawlins Street between 1:30 and 2 a.m. when suddenly two Hispanic men came up from behind them as they walked form the car to the apartment.

“They just kind of came up and started hitting us,” Short said.

Truong said he saw the men attack Short first and jumped in.

“It happened so fast because we were literally walking like 20 feet,” Truong said. “It started so quick we really had no chance to kind of process what’s going on.”

Truong said one of the guys hit him and pushed him against the wall of Short’s apartment. He said he remembers them both laughing during the assault. He said they fought the attackers off after a few minutes and they fled.

No words were exchanged before the attack, but both of them remember the men calling them “fags” and laughing. They said they think the men came from the Halloween Street Party because they were walking on Throckmorton Street toward Lemmon Avenue and may have been intoxicated. Neither of the men was in costume.

Short said both of them were hit in the head and his hip was sore from falling. He also had a scraped hand. Truong also had a bruises on his head, a swollen jaw and a small black eye.

Short said he called 911 after the suspects left and told the dispatcher he and Truong didn’t need medical attention. They said they told the dispatcher that the two Hispanic men were in their mid-20s or 30s with medium builds and around 5 feet, 10 inches tall. They didn’t take pictures of their injuries and said they were not serious enough to go to the hospital.

Short filed a police report Thursday, Nov. 1, which lists the assault as a hate crime and describes the attack as the men being punched multiple times while being called gay slurs.

While both men are glad their injuries aren’t more serious, they still wonder why the assault happened because the men never demanded money from them, only attacking them and running off.

“They were not trying to rob us. They didn’t ask us for a phone or wallet or keys, nothing,” Truong said. “That’s what’s so mind-boggling. It was just laughing, gay slurs and after a minute they just bailed out.”

—  Anna Waugh