PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A Phoenix man says he was jumped by several people Friday night in what he believes was a hate crime.
"I felt somebody hit me from behind and from the side, and I didn’t know that I was surrounded by people," says victim Cesar Marin.
It happened near Washington and First streets. Marin said he had just had some tacos with friends. As he was driving along First Street, he says a woman jaywalked in front of him.
He slammed on his brakes, but this is what he told police happened next.
“She proceeded to walk by the side of my vehicle," says Marin. "She called me a [expletive] and flicked her cigarette at me. Her cigarette had red hot embers on it.”
"I pulled over to the side of the road so I could find the cigarette so it didn’t burn into my seats," he continues. "All the sudden, I was being attacked from all directions by different people and I started getting punched in the back of my head and my sides. My face. Frankly, after that, I don’t remember much.”
Marin says a good Samaritan woke him up after apparently pulling the attackers off his body.
Marin went to the hospital to be treated for a broken nose and bruises and swelling all over his body.
He says in addition to the homophobic slur the woman hurled at him, the whole thing felt like a hate crime to him.
“Maybe it was the flamboyant music I was listening to," he speculates. "There are also decals on my car that have the gay rainbow on them.”
Phoenix police are investigating the assault, but they haven't confirmed whether they're looking into it as a hate crime.
A man named Cesar Marin says he was jumped by several people last night in downtown Phoenix. @phoenixpolice are investigating the alleged assault. We'll tell you why Marin believes it could be a hate crime on 3TV at 9. #azfamily pic.twitter.com/anWUYEkzI6— Lindsey Reiser (@LindseyReiser) March 17, 2019