BAYTOWN, Texas -- A local teenager was beaten up because he's gay. That's what Dylan Beard and his family are saying.
“It really scares me now that he could be jumped because he's gay. I never really thought about it before, I stood by him because he is what he is, I love him and more power to him. But now I have to be scared,” says his mother, Jennifer Beard.
What makes it all worse is that according to Dylan's mother and local activist Quanell X, Baytown police have been dropping the ball.
“It appears to me they were never interested in helping this young man... they were very nonchalant to his mother about bringing witnesses in … the police had a very disrespectful nonchalant attitude,” says Quanell X.
It all goes back to one night earlier this month. While he was minding his own business at a local park, Dylan says a 17 year old female and two males attacked him, throwing punches and homophobic slurs. They then reportedly bragging about the incident on social media.
“His eye was completely swelled, his nose was broken...his bottom teeth were chipped,” says Beard's mother, describing some of her son’s injuries.
According to Dylan's family, police haven't taken his case seriously.
“We are asking the Department of Justice to step in and investigate this young man's assault as a hate crime,” says Quanell X.
For their part, cops say they have been fully present on the job.
“Since then we have had two witnesses come in and we have taken their statements. We have had a special victim's unit ...reach out and offer her services,” says Lt. Eric Freed.
Lt. Freed also says that a citation was issued against the girl involved and police are working to locate the remaining suspects.