A 24-year-old man is being held by police on suspicion that he stabbed two men as they walked through Denver early on Sunday morning.
One of the victims, Chris Huizar, said that he had just left a nightclub with his boyfriend at the time of the attack near Capitol Hill.
They were holding hands when a man ran up behind them, yelling the slur “faggots,” according to a tweet from Huizar. The assailant stabbed Huizar in the neck and his partner in the hand and in the back, he continued.
On Tuesday morning, the Denver Police Department said that Dylan Payne, 24, was being held for investigation of aggravated assault. “The defendant used a folding pocket knife to cause suspected serious bodily injury in both victims,” according to a probable cause statement.
The victims were born in 1995 and 1998, according to the police document. They were leaving The Church nightclub at about 12:56 a.m., the document states.
The attacker first stabbed Huizar in the neck, as he reportedly told Gay Star News. Huizar’s boyfriend, identified in news reports as Gabriel Roman, then pushed Huizar out of the way and was stabbed himself, the men said.
The attack happened at 10th Avenue and Broadway, according to police. Officers took statements from five witnesses as they investigated.
One friend of Huizar’s said that the two men had been “called names” throughout the night. “It resulted in a giant fight involving everyone,” she tweeted. (The tweet was shared by Huizar on his account.)
“When we got separated … & tried to find each other, someone yelled ‘faggot!!’ and stabbed my friend and his bf. Please pray for them. This world is so ugly,” she wrote.
Huizar initially tweeted that the assailant was a white man. He later told Gay Star News that it was too dark and the attack was too fast to get a good look at the attacker.
“Just seeing him in my arms bleeding … I just didn’t want him to die,” Huizar told 9News.
Payne, the suspect, was being held at Denver Health Medical Center on Tuesday morning. A police report did not detail why he was at the hospital.