[Ed. – The two men who say they were attacked had to see the attackers, who are accused of jumping out of a van and pepper-spraying them. But if the police have notified the public of what to look for, there doesn’t seem to be evidence of it. One possible explanation is suggested by a previous “hate crime” at the gay pride parade in June.]
The violence was particularly shocking for Neil Frias and Jeff White, both 28, because they were assaulted in a city lauded for its progressive values and broad acceptance of the LGBT community.
“I’m trying to make sense of it,” Frias, who works as a publicist in Manhattan, said Sunday. “I would think what happened last night would happen somewhere else, not here.”
The friends were visiting from New York for the weekend festivities surrounding Sunday’s Folsom Street Fair, a world-famous leather-themed street party in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood packed by fetishists celebrating the city’s kinky subculture.
Frias and White said they were attacked at about 9 p.m. outside a McDonald’s at Golden Gate Avenue and Fillmore Street in the city’s Western Addition. As Frias left the fast-food restaurant, he said five men pulled up in a blue minivan. “They were saying, ‘You f**s are destroying family values,’” Frias said. “I said I didn’t want any trouble, and one of them got out of the van. I thought he was going to take a swing at me, but he sprayed me across the face.”