In a disturbing incident captured on police bodycam video, a same-sex couple, Michael Drennan and Matthew Kisner, visiting Albuquerque with their daughter, fell victim to a violent and homophobic attack. The assailant, identified as 26-year-old Jordan Salazar, screamed homophobic slurs and assaulted the family. The incident unfolded after they disembarked from the New Mexico Rail Runner during what should have been a joyful Father’s Day celebration.
As the family made their way from the train station, they encountered Salazar, who subjected them to a torrent of obscenities and aggressively approached them. In a harrowing account to Albuquerque police dispatch, Kisner described the encounter, stating, “This homeless guy like, attacked us. He hit us with a pole. He’s following us. He’s aggressive. He’s cursing, he’s screaming. My daughter’s scared.”
Salazar’s actions escalated further as he allegedly struck one of the men in the head with a metal broomstick, all while hurling derogatory slurs at the gay dads. The police arrived at the scene, urging Salazar to drop the broomstick as they detained him.
While in custody, it became evident that Salazar was either experiencing mental distress or under the influence of substances, with officers mentioning previous encounters with him. The incident raised questions about whether the attack would be classified as a hate crime, given the homophobic nature of the assault.
Matthew Kisner spoke with officers, expressing his belief that the attack should be considered a hate crime, emphasizing that it was motivated by anti-gay bias. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office has put the case against Salazar on hold, awaiting a competency evaluation.
This disturbing incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, even as society progresses towards greater acceptance and equality. The video evidence underscores the importance of addressing hate crimes and ensuring that those responsible face appropriate consequences.