The suspects in a brutal attack on two gay men over Halloween have been charged with a hate crime, officials said.
Marquise Lucas, 19, and Sierus Lamar Dunbar, 27, are charged with three felony counts-- two with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and a third, battery with serious bodily injury, said Shaiara Davila-Morales, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
The case was later amended adding a hate crime allegation to the counts.
The attack occurred around 8:15 p.m. on Halloween near The Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach in the area of 4th Street & Cherry Avenue, according to the Long Beach police department.
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One of the victims, 53-year-old Wade Cook told police the two were approached as they left the center by two male suspects.
Cook told police the suspects first called Cook and his companion names and when he then took a cell phone picture of the suspects they attacked.
Cook said they were knocked to the ground and punched. The man with the cell phone had his hand stomped on by the assailants according to the police report.
Both victims sustained moderate injuries and were taken to a local hospital. They were later released.
The suspects fled on foot but within a few minutes were found and arrested by Long Beach Police.
In response to the attacks, the local community has mobilized and activists are calling for a renewed community watch program.
More than 75 people attended a forum at the Bixby Park Community Center on Sunday. The meeting was organized by The Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and the Long Beach Police Department, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
"While we were shocked and disturbed that this event occurred right outside our doors we are encouraged by the response of the local police and lawmakers. Everybody really wants to create a safer community a more welcoming community," said Porter Gilberg, the Gay and Lesbian Center's director.
Meanwhile, police have increased their patrols and made themselves more visible along the Broadway Corridor.
Anyone who may have any information regarding this incident is urged to contact Violent Crimes Detective Jackie Bezart at (562) 570-7250