DETROIT (WWJ) – The victim of a beating outside the Motor City Pride fest over the weekend is speaking out about the attack.
Police are calling it a crime of hate.
Twenty-year-old Christin Howard is recovering from the brutal attack, where he says eight men beat him while shouting gay slurs to the aspiring hair stylist.
Howard told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson that the flashbacks have been haunting.
“My hand’s still in a little pain, and my eye and my chest hurt a little bit,” said Howard.
Five days later, the tell-tale signs are evident, bloodied eye and bruises as Howard rubs his orange arm-cast.
“Keep my guard up and keep on fighting,” he said were the thoughts that went through his mind while engaged in the attack.
Howard said he doesn’t know who shot the video, which shows Howard being beaten and trying to defend himself.
His mother, Tamara, said that she doesn’t understand what motivates people to hurt others.
“I can’t understand how these young men think that their opinion really matters, you know he’s gay, okay fine, they don’t like it. Fine. But to put their hands on my son and jump on him is a coward move.
“For an event like that – police, security, everybody should have been everywhere – because you do have hate people, that want to come up and want to cause problems. And I just want Chief Craig to find these men,” said Tamara.
A hashtag, #justiceforchonglee, has been created in a show of support for Howard.
Howard said he had to walk about half a mile to a sheriff’s station and hopes next year’s security is tighter around the event.
“I would tell them to patrol the Riverwalk more, instead of all the police standing in one spot.”
No arrests have been made in the assault that was captured on cell phone camera.