PORTLAND -- A visit to a local hot springs ended in what a Portland man described as gay-bashing.
Fifteen stitches and staples are evidence of what Mik Holland describes as an unprovoked, violent attack and what the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said was a hate-motivated crime.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been physically assaulted for being who I am,” said Holland.
He's been coming to the tubs at Bagby Hot Springs since he was a boy. He said he and his friend were in a tub late Monday night when two men with Eastern European accents got into the adjacent tub. For ninety minutes they all got along fine, until Holland said the men asked about his sexuality.
Mik is bisexual, his friend is gay.
“It left me feeling uncomfortable…where the conversation was going,” Holland said.
Holland said he left the tubs and only came back when he thought the men were gone, but they soon returned.
“When I turned my head, that’s when he took a flashlight and hit me over my head three times,” Holland said.
The suspects have been described as a 27-year-old white male with short blond hair, 5 ft., 7 in., tall and 180 lbs. His name may be Alex. The second suspect is 6 ft., 1 in., tall male about 200 lbs. His name may be Jay.
Both have Eastern European accents and were seen in a 2008 blue Dodge pickup with a Washington license plate.
“We have that flashlight in the crime lab and we’re hoping it will produce some fingerprints or perhaps some DNA we can use,” said a Lt. Robert Wurpes of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
The county sheriff's office is investigating the incident as a hate-motivated crime.
PQ Monthly broke the story. It received so much traffic it shut down their website for a time.
Holland's physical wounds are healing, the emotional ones, he said, will take more time.
None of it, he said, will take him away from the place he loves.
“Of course I would [go back] in a minute,” Holland said. “It's a beautiful place.”
Anyone with information was asked to call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.