POSTED: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 12:47pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 1, 2012 - 2:26pm
EL PASO - Update: Wednesday: The FBI is now investigating the beating of a 22 year old man as a hate crime.
Local spokesman Special Agent Michael Martinez told NewsChannel 9 the story was handed over to his office on Tuesday afternoon.
The beating took place early Saturday morning outside of the Old Plantation, or OP, a local gay club.
The victim's family told us this morning that the 22 year old man is still in critical condition.
They hope the FBI's involvement brings more attention to the case.
A 22-year-old Hispanic man is in critical condition after being attacked in Downtown El Paso early Saturday morning.
The beating took place outside of the Old Plantation or OP, which is a popular gay club.
El Paso police say they have no evidence to label the attack a hate crime, however the family feels otherwise.
We spoke with the victim's sister, Deanne Martinez, this morning at UMC where her brother is still listed in critical condition.
Martinez was there Saturday and witnessed the attack. "He was on the floor laying there knocked out and they still kept bashing his head with a bat. That to me is so cowardly. "
Martinez says she and another family member tried to stop the attack but the men turned on them, she said "I was trying to pull out my brother and she was pushing off the guys. They ended up bashing her Jeep Liberty."
So far police say they have no evidence to call the attack a hate crime.
Martinez calls that ridiculous.
She says her brother isn't gay but he was alone outside of a gay club and the men who attacked him made it clear why they picked him.
Martinez said, "they were yelling gay slurs and yelling their gang name or where they're from."
Martinez also told us this isn't the first time she's heard of that same group of men harassing people in the area.
She hopes someone comes forward with information about who these guys are, "I want these guys to be caught. Because this was a brutal and heartless crime."
Police haven't named any suspects. They are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 566-TIPS.