VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Police are investigating a hate crime against a gay couple in our nation’s capital, and one of the victims is from Virginia Beach.
Karl Craven and Braden Brecht are tired and broken after a vicious attack outside of Nellie’s Sports Bar in Washington D.C. on Sunday morning.
Craven recalled it in detail. “This is such a vivid image, like I just saw like 10 guys beating him, and so I just instinctively, I jumped on top of him and tried to like shield him, and was like screaming ‘help, help, help!'”
Craven, an Old Dominion University student, moved to D.C. last month for a summer internship.
His boyfriend Braden, who took the brunt of the brutal beating, moved with him. Craven told 10 On Your Side that they’ve been to the bar many times before and always felt safe.
Both remember hearing an anti-gay slur as the mob moved in, fists flying.
“And it hurts right here,” Brecht said pointing to the nape of his neck during an interview with our sister station, WRIC.
21-year-old Brecht has no health insurance and mounting medical bills from an ambulance ride to the emergency room where he was treated, and an initial trip to the eye specialist Thursday.
Craven set up a GoFundMe page to help. It quickly exceeded the $10,000 goal.
The couple is with family in Virginia Beach on Thursday. Craven said to remind people to be careful at Pridefest in Norfolk this weekend — warning that bad things can happen even in places where you usually feel safe.