A man who admitted to attacking a gay couple at a swimming pool last summer has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Long Ngoc Hoang, 29, pleaded guilty in August to one count of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. He was sentenced by an Arapahoe County judge on Monday.
Prosecutors say on June 5, 2016 Hoang instigated an unprovoked attack by calling out a slur to victim Nick Shores and his boyfriend at an apartment complex swimming pool.
During the attack, Hoang punched Shores in the head. Shores says another suspect choked him from behind and that he lost consciousness as his head was pounded into the concrete.
The DA’S Office says Shores’ boyfriend tried to intervene but was also injured. Witnesses say Hoang was heard saying “I am going to get my gun and kill these fools” as he left the pool area – a moment that Shores and his boyfriend used to get away.
According to the DA’s Office, witnesses say Hoang returned with a baseball bat and that bystanders closed the gate to keep him away from the pool area as he continued to yell homosexual slurs.
“Please take into account the gross violence of this situation. The attack was only because I am gay, and there are many other gay people out there,” Shores told the judge in urging a prison sentence. “This gives us the opportunity to set a precedent for others in our community that violence against gays will not be tolerated.”