Police are searching for a group of men who assaulted a man in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood in an alleged homophobic attack.
A 36-year-old Carrum Downs man, known as Brendan, was walking along Smith Street between Victoria Parade and Mason Street in Collingwood in the early hours of Saturday on January 27 when he was surrounded by three men.
The three men approached him and punched him repeatedly in the face.
Just prior to the assault, one of the men made a comment to Brendan in relation to his sexuality, Victorian Police said.
“He said a word that wasn’t so nice… then there was one giant punch to my left eye,” Brendan said.
“I remember picking myself back up… I spent 18 hours on my back, not being able to move.”
The man was taken to hospital with serious facial injuries.
The offenders fled along Smith Street after the attack, police said.
Brendan said though he was physically on the mend, the attack had taken a psychological toll on him.
“I’m no longer going out at night by myself… it doesn’t matter what part of the city I’m in, I’m always looking over my shoulder,” he said.
The attack occurred close to popular Collingwood gay venues such as Sircuit Bar and The Peel.
Police are urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at the CrimeStoppers Victoria website.
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) April 8, 2018