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Men holding hands in public attacked in Portland, Ore.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland police are investigating a possible hate crime against two men who had been holding hands in public on Sunday evening.

The pair, identified as Brad Forkner and Christopher Rosevear, told officers that three men attacked them as they were walking through a city park.

Forkner reported that he was pushed and punched before he broke away and called 911. The attackers hit Christopher Rosevear in the head, face, back and ribs before running off, police said.

Although there were witnesses to the attack, police said nobody stepped up to help the couple who was being assaulted.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who is openly gay, issued a statement Tuesday saying that people should be able to hold hands without fear for their safety.

“We seek to be the city of the most equal opportunity, and we can only be that city if all people are safe and have a sense of safety on our streets and in our parks," Adams said.