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Attack Sparks Anti-Hate Rally in Downtown St. Cloud [VIDEO]

Abby Faulkner, WJON News

ST. CLOUD – Nearly 100 people gathered together in downtown St. Cloud Wednesday night in support of a young man allegedly beaten by three other young men.

Police say the attack was prompted because the three thought the victim was gay.

Reports allege the three men punched the 22-year-old victim from the Twin Cities suburb of St. Louis Park as they hurled gay slurs at him in a downtown St. Cloud bar and entertainment district alley.

St. Cloud Police spokesman Martin Sayre says one of the alleged assailants thought the victim was hitting on him.

Arrested were 24-year-old Matthew Thomas of Rogers, 21-year-old Chad Hands of Elk River, and 23-year-old Ryan Frane of St. Cloud.

Wednesday night’s rally took place near an alley in downtown St. Cloud where the victim was assaulted. Organizer Janet Cleland-Dullinger says word of the rally spread quickly through the use of Facebook, Twitter and email.

Cleland-Dullinger says the demonstrators wanted to illustrate that hate crimes will not be tolerated in St. Cloud.

WJON Photojournalist Abby Faulkner talked with several of the ralliers.
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