A Chicago resident sustained multiple injuries after a severe beating and robbery the evening of March 23.
Glenn Collins, who is gay, had just left work at 9 p.m. at Tuley Park, 501 E. 90th Pl., and was walking to his car when he was approached by four men who attacked him.
"I was facing my driver's-side door," he recalled. "As I put my keys out to unlock it, I heard the footsteps. But my reaction, when I turned around, was too late. Someone ran up and hit me. I felt something cold go up across the right side of my forehead. It dazed me. When I turned to the left, I saw the four guys. They just punched on me and beat me in the face. I fell to the ground, next to the car."
Two of the men ran off with bags Collins was carrying; one of the remaining men took Collins' car keys and began trying to get into his car. The last man took Collins' cellphone and demanded to know the password, repeatedly striking him when he could not get the phone to work.
"When [the password] didn't work, he started beating me in the head again," Collins added.
One of Collins' co-workers heard the scuffle and called for the men to leave. The man with the cellphone fled, while the other had managed to start Collins' car by this time and drove off. Collins, by now drifting in an out of consciousness, was taken inside the park facilities until help arrived. He was later taken to Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center.
Among the injuries Collins sustained were a concussion, multiple bruises, two black eyes and a fractured nose, he said, adding that he also had to wear a neck brace for a time. He did not recall any anti-gay remarks during the attack but said Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) had told him the attack was likely premeditated.
"They had to be watching me, honestly," Collins said, adding that the park had minimal security. "They were talking, but I can't remember what they were saying."
Collins teaches dance at Tuley Park and thinks the men likely targeted him as for being gay on that basis. He said that the Chicago Police Department detective in charge of his case has been in contact regularly, both to check on his health and keep him up to date on the investigation. Collins has not yet returned to work.
"It's been a struggle for me to function and go out, and even be in big crowds," he said. "I'm gradually doing things here and there but always with someone. I don't go out at night."
According to the CPD, the investigation is ongoing.