PORTLAND -- The suspect and victim in what Portland police have described as a bias crime tell conflicting reports about the reported gay bashing.
Kiah Lawson, 22, said he was holding hands with his boyfriend while walking to a downtown bar last week when they were confronted by two men saying anti-gay slurs. Lawson said the confrontation escalated into an attack and he was knocked to the ground.
"It's just a mess that I wish I never had to deal with and I hope no one has to deal with it ever," Lawson told KGW.
Police are still looking for one suspect but arrested Paul Anthony Martinson, 39, of Molalla, on the night of the alleged attack.
Martinson faces charges of assault, intimidation and criminal mischief in connection with the March 14 incident but he claims Lawson and his boyfriend were the ones who started the fight.
"The worst thing I'm scared of is a person-to-person crime," Martinson told KGW. "I would never do that to someone."
The second suspect in the assault allegedly showed a knife and damaged the SUV of one of the victims. He was described as a white man in his 20s to 30s, 5 foot 10 and 160 pounds with short hair.
The couple told police they had just parked at SW 3rd and Oak and were heading toward the Silverado nightclub. After the attack, the victims ran into the Silverado for help and that's when they said someone smashed the windows in their vehicle and slashed the tires.
"I don't remember any of that," said Martinson. "I can't say if I did or didn't."
A nightclub employee also ran outside and helped police capture Martinson.
Police said they have few clues about the second suspect and urged anyone with information that may help the investigation to call authorities.