UPDATE: The Missoula Independent cites local law enforcement officials who say the victim, now identified as Joseph Baken, may have fabricated the attack. “We have new information that we’re following up on,” a source inside the Missoula Police Department is quoted as saying.
In addition, the Independent has posted video footage, which can be found above, which they say shows Baken doing a backflip and sustaining the injuries in the process. Baken may now be charged with making a false report, according to the publication.
A Montana-based gay man's birthday celebration turned ugly after he was allegedly beaten by at least three people in an attack he believes was motivated by his sexual orientation.
Missoulian reports that the 22-year-old man told police he asked patrons at the Missoula Club about the location of a nearby gay bar. After someone asked him to step outside for a cigarette, the man said he was hit by someone, and then two more people joined in.
The "Wipe Out Homophobia" Facebook page identifies the alleged victim only as "Joseph," and says that the assailants hurled anti-gay epithets like "faggot" at him during the attack. "Nobody deserves this, especially not just because of your sexuality," the group's organizers wrote in their post.
Police say Joseph reported the attack three hours after it happened, and had no serious injuries. Officers are investigating the attack as a misdemeanor, according to KAJ18.
Meanwhile, Missoulian notes that an event called "Proposition Gay Downtown Missoula Pub Crawl" is being organized in response to the attack on Aug. 31. “We are encouraging gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual people (and their straight friends) to show up en masse at any and all Missoula downtown bars on Friday, August 31, to raise awareness while having a rockin’ good time!” the publication cites the group’s Facebook post as saying.