Fort Collins Police Department investigating hate crime after savage beating of gay man

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 07:34:15-05

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Big, black bruises cover the face of Steven Anthony two days after a savage beating left him nearly dead.

"That's from him stomping on me repeatedly," Anthony said pointing to a shoe print bruise on his ribs.

Late Friday night, Anthony, who is gay, said he was out drinking with Vincent Ramirez, an ex-Marine who he'd considered a friend. The two shared an Uber back to Ramirez's apartment on East Drake in Fort Collins. Anthony said they were talking in his kitchen when suddenly things went terribly wrong.

"We were talking about this woman and how much he was in love with her and how he needed to back off a little bit," Anthony said. "I said, 'You know Vince, if you do happen to be gay, it's OK, I'm here for you.' We think that's kind of what set him off."

What happened next is still foggy for Anthony.

"I kind of remember sitting at the kitchen table and the last thing, just getting clocked in the back of the head with some kind of an object," Anthony said. "I remember him choking me."

For several minutes, Anthony said Ramirez, choked, stomped and punched him until he was unconscious.  Bleeding and confused, Anthony eventually came to and saw an opportunity to escape.

"I remember hitting the side and laying in that puddle and him saying, 'I'm going to go get my sword,' and just knowing that I wasn't going to get out of there if I didn't get up and I didn't run," Anthony said.

Anthony said he ran out the back door, hid in a window well and called an Uber for help. The attack left him with a broken nose, broken orbital socket and a sprained abdominal wall.

Ramirez was later arrested for second-degree assault and felony menacing. He made his first court appearance Monday afternoon, where his bond was set at $7,500.  He's since bonded out of jail.  Ft. Collins police confirmed they're investigating the incident as a possible bias crime. 

For Anthony, it's the wounds you can't see that have left the biggest scars.  He knows he has a long road of healing both physically and emotionally ahead of him, but has a message of his own.

"Love over hate, that's really all you can do. If I didn't have the love of people in my life, I don't know if I would've fought as hard," Anthony said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Anthony's soaring medical costs. By Monday night, it already had more than $15,000 in donations.

Ramirez will be back in court Jan. 31.


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