LOGAN SQUARE — A Logan Square man who was beaten by a group of teens while walking home said the group attacked him for being gay.
Levi Frerichs, 27, was walking home with his dog from a birthday party that he planned for a friend when the group of six teens began beating him and taunting him while yelling homophobic slurs.
The attack happened about 2:30 a.m. July 29 in the 2600 block of North Spaulding Avenue, a block from Frerichs' home.
"They didn't ask for anything. They didn't want my wallet. They didn't want my cellphone," Frerichs said. "They were just taunting me for no reason."
Frerichs, who works as an accounting assistant, said the teens were saying "are you scared f-----? You better be scarred f-----" as they were punching him in the back of his head.
After a few punches Frerichs said he dropped his dog's leash while defending himself.
At one point during the attack one of the teens who was attacking him said she was going to steal the dog. Frerichs said he pushed her to try to prevent that.
After that, the teens started "wailing" on him.
"I refuse to allow this to change me," he said. "I am a little bit traumatized, but I will overcome this in time because i'm a lucky one. .. If I would have got on the ground they would have kicked me to death or attempted to. There was no remorse."
Frerichs was walking home from a friend's surprise birthday party that he had planned for her at an apartment near Kimball and Wrightwood. The walk to his apartment was just a few blocks.
"They saw me from across the street, the tall slender openly gay man," he said. "I was wearing a floral shirt and carrying a picnic basket and I have a Yorkshire Terrier.”
Frerichs said he was able to run from the attackers onto Milwaukee Avenue, where he ran into two men outside Cafe Con Leche. When he looked back, the group that had been chasing him was walking away.
Frerichs said he called 911, but didn't hear back from police for more than two hours via a voicemail at 4:30 a.m. He had already fallen asleep.
As of Thursday morning, police said there were no suspects in custody.
Police said the attackers were all between ages 16 and 19.
The victim was able to obtain video surveillance footage from a local business that captured the teens chasing him, but not the actual attack.
Frerichs said he filed a report at the police station a few days after the attack but said the only information he found under his case number later was his name, number and address. There was nothing on the report that mentioned the location of the attack, the description of the assailants or that it was a possible hate crime.
An officer at the station later filled in the new details, but Frerichs said he had yet to hear from a detective to follow up on the case.
Police said the offense was classified primarily as a simple battery, but the possibility of the crime being a hate crime would be part of a follow-up investigation by detectives and the information would be included in the narrative of the investigation.
"I'm definitely trying to get the word spread so this doesn't happen to anybody else," he said.
Frerichs suffered a black eye during the attack and had his glasses broken.
He said he has been having constant headaches every morning.
"Despite my shiner, I continue to smile and stay positive," Frerichs said. "That's who I am and no act of hatred or violence will change that truth about me.
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