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Police: Massachusetts teen, eight juveniles attack gay man

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The 30-year-old man is treated for head trauma and released
  • Police: Suspects yell "disparaging" remarks during the attack
  • Statements made during the attack amount to a hate crime, police say

Boston (CNN) -- Nine youth ages 12 to 19 are facing hate crime charges in the beating and robbing of an openly gay man in Massachusetts, authorities said.

The 30-year-old man was walking down a street in Springfield about 3 a.m. Tuesday when the suspects attacked him, said Sgt. John Delaney of the Springfield Police Department.

"He was knocked to the ground and punched in the face with closed fists, and kicked in the head and abdomen," Delaney said. "During the beating, the females encouraged the males to beat up the victim."

The suspects yelled "disparaging" remarks about his sexual orientation during the attack, Delaney said.

The man was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was treated for head trauma and released.

His MP3 player, stolen during the attack, was later found on one of the suspects, according to authorities.

Statements made during the attack amounted to a hate crime, Delaney said.

Police charged Shay Andre Edwards, 19, and eight juveniles with unarmed robbery and a civil rights violation with injury.

CNN's Samuel Gardner contributed to this report.