Assault in Amsterdam’s Westerpark continues disturbing LGBT violence trend

The police are looking for witnesses of a serious assault in Westerpark in Amsterdam between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 13th. The police believe the victim, a 48-year-old man, was attacked because of his sexual orientation.

The man was walking in Westerpark near the playground when two men wearing black clothes approached him. They shouted at him and insulted him, before hitting him hard in the face multiple times. A man and woman sitting on a nearby bench shouted at the men to stop and they fled. The perpetrators left the park via Zaanstraat and drove away on a scooter. The victim was left with several injuries. 

Both perpetrators were wearing motorcycle helmets and spoke with a foreign accent, according to the police. One of them was short with a stout posture and was wearing a short black jacket. The second perpetrator was taller with a slim figure. He was wearing a mid-length dark coat. 

The police call on witnesses to come forward. Investigators particularly want to talk to the man and the woman who stopped the attack. 

Over the past months there were multiple gay bashing and anti-LGBT violence cases in Amsterdam. On New Year's day a 22-year-old man was attacked in Amsterdam by a group of men who called him a "cancer faggot", and left him with broken teeth. In November two kissing women, in Amsterdam for documentary film festival IDFA, were assaulted. In August the police arrested three men for viciously assaulting a gay couple in the Dutch capital in June. And in May two investigations into assaults on homosexual men in the city were halted due to lack of evidence. Both these incidents happened in January 2017. 

The current anti-LGBT violence trend is not only limited to Amsterdam. Five teenagers are currently awaiting trial for attacking a gay couple in Arnhem with bolt-cutters in April last year. A gay couple in Eindhoven reported being assaulted on the same weekend as the Arnhem couple. And a group of teenagers were arrested for assaulting a lesbian couple in Rotterdam in June. 

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