After a night of partying, William Babcock and two friends stopped at the 7-11 on Third Avenue and Broadway to buy some chips. That’s when a group of men began making derogatory comments about Babcock and his friends being gay. One of Babcock’s friends dared to speak back—under his breath—which was enough to provoke the bullies’ fury. When it was all over, Williams’ jaw was broken and his friends had suffered concussions, according to CBS4. The alleged attackers got away. “People like myself, young gay men, they should not be scared,” Babcock says, adding, “I do believe this was a hate crime…They literally beat our faces in. That’s what happened to us.…People are just ignorant, and they think they have the right to hurt people who aren’t alike or that they don’t accept.”

Denver police are investigating and could be looking at surveillance tape from the 7-11, reports CW2.

Several members of the gay community are outraged by the attack and spoke to 9News about it during a local filming for the anti-bullying public service announcement campaign called “It Gets Better.” The local video features members of Denver’s theater communities, writes The Denver Post, which was also on hand to snap some photos during the production.