A French mayor was tied to a tree, undressed and violently beaten by two thugs in a chilling homophobic attack.
The 67-year-old victim, who has not been named, was set upon midnight Saturday (11 September) in a parking lot along the banks of Garonne in Toulouse, the capital of the southern Occitanie region.
Two men pounced upon the man, reported to be a mayor in the Aveyron department, as he left a popular meeting spot for queer men, according to La Depeche.
As he parked his car outside the Casino Barrière on Chemin de la Loge, the assailants began kicking and punching him. Dragging him out of his vehicle, they snatched his car keys as they tore his clothing off.
The attackers then bound the mayor to a tree along the beaten road and pummelled him even further before fleeing the scene in his car, making off with his clothing as well.
Mayor found covered in blood after ‘despicable’ homophobic assault
The Haute-Garonne departmental police force said they are investigating a “violent theft”. They added that the victim freed himself and that his car was found abandoned nearby by officers.
Local firefighters found the victim suffering from a broken nose and multiple facial fractures, his face covered in blood. He was rushed to the Purpan Hôspital in northwest Toulouse and remained there as of Monday (13 September).
Toulouse prosecutor Samuel Vuelta Simon told La Depeche that while the motivations for the attacks have not yet been verified, “the injuries testify to the violence of the assault”.
“A shame!” tweeted SOS Homophobie, a national LGBT+ advocacy group. “We condemn this despicable aggression and give our full support to the victim.”
The news comes weeks after a French gay couple was brutally beaten by a gang of 20 men in the small town of Luri, Corsica, a French region in the Mediterranean islands, in July.