Police say a man was attacked, because of his sexual orientation.
A 24-year-old Clackamas man was attacked and robbed at Gresham’s Vance Park shortly after midnight on Friday. The victim, whose name is being withheld at this time, suffered minor injuries when four juveniles and one adult ambushed him in a targeted attack based on his sexual orientation.
At 12:15 a.m., Gresham officers responded to the report of an armed robbery where several masked males and one masked female displayed guns as they punched and kicked the victim, stealing his wallet, cell phone and other personal items. The suspects fled the scene but were later caught by police.
Three 16-year-old boys, a 14-year-old girl, and 19-year-old Justin Simms, of Gresham, are in custody for Robbery in the second degree, Intimidation in the first degree, and Assault in the third degree; all felony charges.
The group of five suspects conspired to lure the man to the park under the guise that he would be meeting a consenting adult male for a sexual encounter. Once in the park, the group attacked the man and robbed him of his property.
Gresham detectives believe this group may have recently attacked other gay males using a similar ruse, possibly also at Vance Park or the neighboring area. If anyone has experienced something similar to this attack and believe it is related to this group, please contact Detective Scott Hogan at (503) 618-3141. The Gresham Police recognize bias crimes like this often go unreported and encourage victims to call to report crimes against them or others. The utmost care will be afforded to protect the victim’s identity. The Gresham Police Tip Line is (503) 618-2719.