EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On December 26, a group of friends were attacked in a Downtown El Paso parking garage after leaving EPIC, an LGBTQ + nightclub.

“We were approached by somebody verbally who just kept calling us homophobic slurs. We tried to ignore him but we had to cross him we were passing him,” said Zackery Calderon one of the victims.

In the police report filed the night of the attack, it says officers were dispatched to a parking garage at 301 East Missouri Avenue where the victims had been assaulted by three unknown subjects.

“He ended up punching my friend and that’s when I intervened and I tried to physically separate them the next thing I remember is he started to punch me and at that point, things go a little bit blurry I do remember he was a bit taller than me and the next thing I remember I was on the ground quite literally begging for my life, I was begging for him to stop,” said Calderon.

As a result of the attack, Calderon says he was sent to hospital with a fractured nose, among other injuries.

The Borderland Rainbow Center, for El Paso’s LGBTQ + community, shared Calderon’s story on social media for awareness.

“We wanted them to be aware that we were there to support them in any way that they needed and hopefully you know this doesn’t happen again and we were quite shocked because like I said it’s not a common occurrence here in El Paso, thankfully but when things like this do happen, we are here to help out.”

Pifas Silva
Program Director for the Borderland Rainbow Center

The attack is classified in the police report as ‘aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.’ The El Paso Police Department informed KTSM 9 News that the incident is now being referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI of El Paso sent the following statement in regards to the assault.

“The El Paso FBI Field Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas are aware of the situation regarding the alleged aggravated assault that occurred on December 26th. We can neither confirm, deny nor provide commentary as to any ongoing federal investigation at this time.”

Jeanette Harper
Special Agent, Public Affairs Officer FBI El Paso

Calderon met KTSM near where the assault happened saying it’s going to take time for him to feel comfortable again.

“I was extremely surprised that it happened because It happened in an area where we feel safe,” said Calderon.

“It could happen to anybody. It took a stranger to beat up another stranger just because of them coming from the gay bars…”

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