Separate incidents of violence that allegedly happened in Palm Springs during Pride Weekend have some members of the gay community wondering if they are being targets of hate crimes.
According to the Palm Springs Police Department there were three separate incidents of alleged violence during Pride Weekend and the details of each were shared on social media.
One incident was a man who was jumped and had his cellphone stolen. Another was a man who tells police he may have been attacked or he fell, the man says he’s not sure.
And a third man says he was assaulted while waiting for the Buzz near Rite Aid on Palm Canyon Drive on Sunday night.
“We reached out to him on social media platform to contact us to see what actually occurred and how he obtained those injuries. He not only deleted the post but he blocked us from the social media site and then he took down the post entirely,” said Sgt. William Hutchinson with the Palm Springs Police Department.
KESQ and CBS Local 2 reporter Joe Galli found that man on Instagram. He wrote that he filed a report online, but Palm Springs police say they helped him when he was injured and he was intoxicated.
Rescuers got him to the hospital, but the man never told officers at the scene that he was the victim of an attack.
Comments on social media from some members of the gay community are worried that these incidents could be hate crimes.
“In the 19 years that I have lived here, I have never felt unsafe whether there are pocket incidents, but the fact that it happened during Pride Weekend, I’m a little suspect,” said Harold Watts of Palm Springs.
“We have three separate incidents involving different people. None of them have any indication that a hate crime took place,” Hutchinson said.
Without any evidence that shows these attacks could be hate crimes, sharing on social media with posts stating that they were hate crimes is a problem.
“It is very irresponsible for people to post that way if it is not what is going on, because it creates this kind of a panic and a chaos in a community when we are already on high alert for attacks as it is,” Hutchinson said.
Gay men, we talked to say they are always on guard but not living in fear.
“I feel very safe here, it’s the safest community I have lived in and I have lived all over the country,” said Michael Walsh of Palm Springs.
Police are still trying to get in contact with the man who said he was attacked while waiting for the Buzz.
If you or someone you know has any information on any crimes that happened during Pride Weekend contact Palm Springs police.
You can find statistics on how Coachella Valley cities performed on the hate crime report here