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23-year-old badly beaten in possible anti-gay hate crime

DENVER – A young gay man says he was badly beaten by a man who was part of a group shouting anti-gay slurs at him and his friends, and Denver police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Jared R. Olson, 23, posted photos on Facebook showing is bloody, battered face. He says he has broken facial bones and knocked-out teeth that will require reconstructive surgery costing about $50,000, and he says he doesn’t have health insurance.

Olson told 7NEWS in Denver that he and two friends had just left Sam’s Hookah Lounge on Alameda Avenue about 2 am Monday when he and one of his friends were attacked. A third friend was unharmed.

"I didn't think that I looked that bad, until my mother had taken the picture and shown me," Olson told 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart.

"I didn't think it would ever happen to me. I thought people were more sensible than that in this day in age,” he said.

"I just remember looking over, and looking up at the guy and getting hit square in the face right here. And you can clearly tell my nose is like over here," Olson said.

Friends and supporters created a Facebook page called Justice for Jared to follow his recovery and the criminal investigation of his attack. More than 1,550 people have “liked” the page.