Two men threatened, assaulted in Amsterdam gay bashing incident; One hospitalized
Two men who were assaulted in Amsterdam Osdorp on Sunday said they were the beaten up because of their sexual orientation, and one of them required treatment in a hospital. The pair, who are in their sixties, said they exited a tram and were walking home when they were nearly struck by a darker colored Mercedes. They exchanged words with the driver, which became more heated with the driver shouting slurs at the men, and leading up to the physical attack.
The men’s story was shared by the Facebook group, Pink Nieuw-West, early on Thursday afternoon. Police confirmed the incident happened on Meer en Vaart at about 6:15 p.m. in front of Sensemillia CoffeeShop. Police said the incident happened when the car was “driven onto the sidewalk from the adjacent parking lot. When the men made a comment about this, an altercation ensued.”
“Unfortunately he didn't accept [the criticism] and immediately started cursing us as filthy homos,’” the men said in an email to Pink Nieuw-West. “A very unpleasant exchange erupted. At one point we had enough and wanted to de-escalate. That's why we walked away and the driver came after us and attacked us.”
Police added that the man made “threatening gestures” at the victims. “Eventually this led to the pushing and hitting.” One of the men was struck and knocked to the ground, while the other said he fought back, striking the assailant with a bag several times.
“The driver became furious, but another man jumped in between the two of us, after which the driver drove off in his car across the sidewalk and zebra crossing,” one of the victims said. They were unable to get a photo of the vehicle’s license plate. The victim who wound up on the ground was treated in an area hospital, police confirmed. The victim said he had injuries to the face, shoulder, and hip.
“This violence is horrible and obviously unacceptable, said Pink Nieuw-West, appealing to guarantee the city district is safe for everyone in the LGBTIQ+ community. They asked that all local organizations in Amsterdam Nieuw-West show “stand up and be even more commitment and stronger for the Rainbow community.”
Authorities said the suspect was about 30 years of age, with light tan colored skin, and short curly black hair. He was wearing dark clothing. Police believe he sped away from the scene headed north on Meer en Vaart.
The victims and the police confirmed that there were many people on the street who likely saw the incident happen, but none of them were willing to speak with police. “The victims experienced the situation as very threatening, one of them was seriously injured. We therefore hope that people who have information or images will report to us,” police said.
The victims praised police for handling the situation professionally, and taking the incident seriously. Pink Nieuw-West asked anyone who is verbally abused, harassed, threatened, or assaulted to report the incident, particularly if they are part of the LGBTIQ+ community.