A lesbian couple was allegedly attacked by a straight couple in Santa Fe on March 11, with one of the victims claiming she blacked out from the beating.
According to a Facebook post by Haley Pryor, she and Amelia Kathryn Allen were having dinner at Kai Sushi and Diner when a family of four entered the restaurant. The straight couple glared at the two women, with the husband giving the middle finger to Allen and Pryor, and the wife making “snidey remarks,” Pryor wrote. After leaving the restaurant, the straight couple quickly tailed the lesbian couple, Pryor said, harassing them as they debated whether to call the police.
From there, Pryor said they left, but they all ended up driving the same way home. The husband and wife allegedly walked up to Allen and Pryor’s car at a stop sign and harassed them from outside. After Pryor confronted the wife, the wife punched Pryor in the face, then the husband did too, according to Pryor. A fight broke out, the wife attacked Allen, Allen attempted to defend her girlfriend with a tire iron, and Pryor was beaten and choked so severely that she blacked out, Pryor said. Several more blows were allegedly given to Pryor, until the assaulting couple finally drove away.
“When I came to I stood back up and began screaming that they made their point and to leave. Katt and the woman were still fighting and the man grabbed me again and began punching me in the face repeatedly,” Pryor wrote in her Facebook post. “He would punch me then say, ‘Let’s go!’ would punch me again and say, ‘We’re leaving,’ then punched me again.”
Shortly after, Pryor and Allen filed assault charges with the police. A witness also reported a disturbance, but only a partial plate was identified.
The Daily Dot has reached out to the Santa Fe Police Department for comment, but has not heard back as of this article’s publication. However, KRQE News 13 reports the police department is investigating the case as an aggravated battery, and NewNowNext says that Kai Sushi is hoping indoor footage can be used to find the suspects.
While the assaulting couple never specifically referenced Allen and Pryor’s sexuality, both believe they were targeted because of it. “They definitely were aiming a lot of the anger at me because of how I look, I’m certain,” Pryor told KRQE.
Meanwhile, as the police investigation continues, Pryor’s Facebook post is being flooded with anti-LGBTQ harassment. “You carpet munchers are desperate liars. A 6’6 man would’ve left you with a broken face,” Brighton Evander Whytock wrote. “Beaten unconscious. Drives Away. Hahahahaha,” another poster, Joao Pedro Pinheiro, said.
Pryor and Allen’s alleged assault falls into an ongoing trend in a rise in hate crimes over the past year. Hate crimes rose over 20 percent during 2016, with 1,037 total incidents across nine major U.S. states. Most hate crimes were attributed to Muslim and LGBTQ attacks.
“[The presidential campaign] coupled with significant coverage, might have encouraged two things to happen: Individuals who vary in motivation, from hardcore bigots to those just seeking a thrill, seeking something to do, as well as victims who felt that they should report this because they’re not alone,” hate crime researcher Brian Levin explained to NBC.