|Image via GoFundMe|
A gay couple was attacked and stabbed apparently for holding hands in public in a hate crime on Saturday night in Denver, Colorado.
Christopher Giovanni Huizar, 19, and Gabriel Enrique Roman, 23, were walking to their downtown home after spending the evening at the Church Nightclub when a man screamed “fucking faggots” at the men.
Huizar says he felt a “punch” only to discover he’d been stabbed in the neck. Roman jumped in to protect his boyfriend and was stabbed in his hand.
The couple began to run from the attacker, but Roman was stabbed again, this time in the back.
After escaping the attacker, the two men collapsed against the side of a building crying and bleeding.
“I was just worried about my boyfriend because he bled so much,” said Huizar.
Eventually a pair of passersby found the couple and called for emergency services.
At the hospital, Roman’s injuries required 30 internal stitches and 52 stitches on his hand.
The men told the local NBC affiliate that the attack will only strengthen their relationship. “We are not letting his define us. We love each other and wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” said Huizar.
According to Denver Police, a man has been arrested for the crime and is being held on charges of aggravated assault. Police say the attack is being investigated as a hate crime.
The couple, who will celebrate their first year together on Wednesday, have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for their extensive medical bills and lost wages work.
Watch the report from NBC 9News below.