Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating alleged hate crimes following the Pride event

The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating an alleged hate crime that took place early Sunday after a Pride event.

Three people emerging from the Pride event around 2:30 a.m. witnessed a fight between a man and a woman near 154 W. 600 South, police said. When a man from the original group tried to break up the fight, the suspect punched him and shouted homophobic hate speech.

The other two from the original group then tried to stop the attack, but the suspect also hit them while shouting homophobic hate speech.

Police said two people suffered minor injuries, while a third suffered a head injury but refused medical treatment and left the scene with friends.

According to witnesses, the group of three people and the man involved in the brawl had previously met at a weekend event.

The Salt Lake City Police Department reported that while the motivation for the attack is unknown, officers are investigating the case as a hate crime because hate speech was used during the attack. Officials have not yet located the suspect and have limited information on his identity.

Anyone with information about the reported attack, including photos or video, can call 801-799-3000 and reference number 22-105521.

Utah saw a spike in reports of hate crimes in 2021, with a notable spike during Pride Month, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Utahns reported 134 hate crimes in 2021 — 42 of which targeted members of the LGBTQ community, up from 22 such hate crimes reported in 2020. Specifically, in June 2021 (Pride Month), the state reported 35 hate crimes against LGBTQ people compared to 16 in June 2020 and 14 in June 2019.

– Tribune staffer Paighten Harkins contributed to this report. Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating alleged hate crimes following the Pride event

Joel McCord

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