On Tuesday, KUTV reported that a teenager in Sandy, Utah has been arrested for an alleged assault on two gay teenagers — and police are recommending it be prosecuted as a hate crime.
"Sandy Police Sgt. Greg Moffitt said the victim and his boyfriend were outside shortly after midnight Saturday in the area of 800 East and Cedar Terrace Drive when a silver vehicle approached. The suspect in the vehicle reportedly began yelling homophobic slurs at the two teens," reported Matthew Jacobson. "The juvenile suspect, along with several other occupants, then allegedly exited the vehicle and continued using the slurs before punching the victim in the face, police said."
According to police, the attacker did not know the victims.
"The suspect was arrested on suspicion of simple assault, a class B misdemeanor," noted the report. "However, based on the video of the incident, police said they will recommend charges for simple assault with a hate crime enhancement. It would bring the charges from a class B to a class A misdemeanor."
This report comes as hate crimes have risen to their highest levels in two decades — and as many incidents around the country attract heightened attention.
Last month, a Florida woman in New York City charged for pepper spray attacks on Asian women. And in Seattle, a man was arrested after repeatedly harassing Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) at her home and demanding she "go back to India."
Watch video of the incident below.
\u201cIn Sandy Utah a gay young man was attacked after hugging his boyfriend in front of his home.\u201d— Ancommie\ud83c\udff4\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@Ancommie\ud83c\udff4\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1659359527