SEASIDE, Ore. -- A spring break trip to the Oregon coast was short cut by a vicious gay bashing for two nursing students from Western Washington.
The two men, Samson, 22, and Kevin, 22, said they left a campfire to walk along the beach during what was supposed to be a stress-free getaway. But the walk itself was anything but stress free -- the two were beaten unconscious late Saturday night.
When Samson and Kevin finally came to, the two nursing students knew just how serious their injuries were.
"The whole event -- I really don't remember a lot, because I sustained a lot of head trauma," said Samson.
"I've never had a face trauma like this or anything like that. It's pretty bad," Kevin said.
Thinking back to the attack, the two men said they believe it was their sexual orientation that made them a target.
"All of the sudden, someone asked if were gay, called us 'fags,' then started punching us," said Samson.
The victims said three or four young men dressed in black attacked them, letting loose punch after punch.
The attack left the two men severely injured and bruised. Kevin's right eye is so badly damaged he plans to see a plastic surgeon on Wednesday.
"It's upsetting to know that people can be so angry," said Samson. "We're easy-going people, and were just having a good time and meeting new friends. Some people can be so malicious and narrow-minded."
The attackers left the couple lying on the beach, unconscious. The two young men later stumbled into a nearby hotel for help.
"They didn't know my limit, how much I could take before we would die or sustain irreversible head trauma," said Kevin.
Samson and Kevin say neither of them has ever been in a fight before, much less punched in the face. They worry this one violent moment has changed them.
"You really don't know what kind of people are out there until something like this happens to you," said Kevin.
"I think people like that don't deserve to be walking the streets," said Samson.
Kevin has medical insurance, but Samson does not. Samson estimates his medical bills will top $1,500.
Police are investigating this as a hate crime and want to know who was present at the campfire prior to the attack. They have descriptions of some of them:
- A heavy-set American Indian woman who is about 30 years old. She had a black ponytail and was wearing gray sweat pants and a matching sweatshirt.
- A husky white male in his late 20s who was the boyfriend of the female. He had a shaved head that appeared to be grown out. His hair was brown and he possibly had a goatee. He was wearing a green shirt or possibly a track jacket.
- A white male in his mid-20s who was wearing a gray hoodie and gray Carhart-type pants.
- A white male with long, black, frizzy hair that was in a ponytail. He had pale skin.
Seaside police are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the assault. Anyone with information was asked to call Seaside Police at (503) 738-6311.
The assault happened during Spring Break weekend and was among 65 calls that police in Seaside responded to from midnight on Thursday through midnight on Sunday.
Overall activity over the weekend included six shoplifters, 19 citations for minor in possession/consumption of alcohol, two warrant arrests, one DUII, one arrest for harassment and one accident. Officers also issued 17 traffic citations and 77 warnings.