A pair of skateboarders knocked a man unconscious with their boards and hurled transphobic slurs at him after he walked into a San Diego park with a client’s dog, according to police.
The victim, a dog trainer who only gave his name as Jay, was attacked at Balboa Park while it was packed with over a hundred skaters on June 21 — also known as Go Skateboarding Day, police told NBC San Diego.
“One of the skateboarders told the victim and his friend to leave the park because it was the skateboarders’ day to be there,” San Diego Police Officer Mark Herring said. “The victim and his friend refused.”
Jay told the outlet that he was just “kind of trying to defend myself.”
“There is a whole park here,” he said. We can share this space.”
Some in the group first tried to intimidate the pair by skating close to them and the dog, cops said. When they tried to get away, several skateboarders followed them.
Two of them bashed Jay on the head with their boards, knocking him out, police said.
“I tried to shove my way out,” Jay said. “After that they smacked me over the back of my head with a skateboard. It was a free-for-all.”
Jay, who is transitioning to a man, said that while his gender did not provoke the attack, the skaters noticed and started using slurs and may have sexually assaulted him.
“They were using transgender slurs,” Jay said. “I was inappropriately touched multiple times during that time span when I was attacked. I did get away after biting and scratching and doing the best I could.”
Park rangers immediately responded, but the two suspects fled before police arrived, Herring told the outlet.
Jay was taken to the hospital and needed staples in his head to close the gash, he said. His friend and the dog were not injured.
Police said they are looking for an 18-year-old male with a medium build, curly blond and brown hair, a nose ring and a large blank tattoo on his left hand and another male roughly the same age and build with curly blond hair.
Since the attack, Jay said he and his business have been threatened and is scared of retaliation. He told the outlet he’s afraid to leave his home and wear clothing advertising his dog training business.
“I honestly want to know that I am not going to be targeted,” he said. “I want to know my clients aren’t going to be targeted or anyone else.”