An Oregon man could face up to 10 years in prison after being charged with a hate crime for beating up a gay couple because they had a pink poodle, the victims said.
Back in March, David Beltier and his partner Jeremy Mark were walking their pink-dyed poodle when 22-year-old George Mason Jr. allegedly got out of his SUV and started insulting the couple. As reported by KPTV, Mason hurled homophobic slurs and made fun of their pink dog. Then he grabbed a metal wrench and hit Beltier in the back of the head, the couple said.
“He was saying your poodle is a weird color and that's just un-American and F-you, you f--- and shouting,” Mark told KPTV. “It just really hurts to know people are out there still like that. Who cares if my dog is pink. It's not their dog. So leave me alone," added Beltier.
Beltier told The Oregonian he believes the color of his dog set off the alleged assailant.
“Honestly, I feel like the pink poodle provoked him,” he said. “We weren't holding hands or anything. Just walking the dog like normal.”
For his part, Mason was slapped on June 27 with one charge of a federal “hate crime.” He also faces charges for second-degree intimidation, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and reckless driving, according to KCTV.