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Hillcrest gay couple assaulted outside of Whole Foods

Kris Matthew McCann and Nathan Ouren
Photo credit:
Kris Matthew McCann - Facebook

[UPDATE: 9-19-2017: Assailant in Whole Foods attack pleads guilty to hate crime]

[UPDATE: 9-12-17: SDGLN has learned through the community that the suspect may be openly gay. Reports from SDPD and the victims have confirmed that he made homophobic slurs during the attack. We've also learned from sources and law enforcement officials that the suspect does have an address and is not homeless as previously reported. We have changed the title of this headline to reflect that. We will keep updating this story as more information becomes available].

[UPDATE 2 - 9-12-17: Police were able to confirm that the suspect Teeno Hermoso Amparano did provide them with an address upon booking]

[UPDATE: Reports are coming into SDGLN that the suspect may reside at a local Hillcrest Hotel we are awaiting confirmation on that recent information]

A San Diego LGBT community member and his husband were shopping in Hillcrest on Saturday when a man physically attacked them in broad daylight using homophobic and racist slurs.

Kris McCann and Nathan Ouren say they were leaving Whole Foods on University Avenue. According to Nathan he was behind his husband, when suddenly, "Kris was on the ground before I realized it," he tells San Diego Gay and Lesbian News,

That's when the suspect began hurling homophobic slurs at the couple, approaching Nathan yelling, "You white gays think you own everything!" 

Nathan says the only thing he can remember next was that he was on the ground in extreme pain on the left side of his head, "I remember a shopping cart and a big rock from the tree planting area on University. My memory isn't so good from what happened."

Kris posted the ordeal on his  Facebook page on Sunday saying that his husband tried to help him as he was being attacked by the man, "We are cut bruised and sore. Mostly we are shocked! I can't grasp the reality that my beautiful husband and I were attacked.”

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News reached out to the local police department earlier today, they say the attack happened at 5:15 pm on Saturday. Officer Billy Hernandez reports the assailant Teeno Hermoso Amparano physically attacked the couple on the sidewalk of 700 University Avenue.

He adds, "Amparano threw rocks at both McCann and Ouren while making homophobic and offensive slurs, pushed and punched McCann, and punched and threw a shopping cart at Ouren knocking him to the ground.  Both sustained minor injuries." 

Amparano was booked into San Diego County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon. The case has been submitted to the City Attorney’s Office.

Nathan says law enforcement were, "very professional and courteous and could not have been there any faster." He adds that there were many witnesses who stopped and helped the couple and they are grateful for that. 

But Nathan is still in shock. He says the whole thing has been extremely traumatizing. "The climate of our world these days is sickening. I haven't left the house since this happened, but I will."

He continues, "Yes, this was bad and surreal, but it could have been so much worse," he says it could have happened in any neighborhood. "It is sad that people can be harmed because of who they were born to be.  It could have been so much worse. will never look at going to a grocery store to get a pizza the same again."

Both are recovering says Nathan and they are taking legal action, "This is a hate crime. Kris is doing ok. We are both hurt both physically and emotionally, but we will get through it."

The above article has been corrected to reflect new information given to SDGLN which confirms that the suspect is not homeless as previously reported.

Many in Hillcrest are growing more and more concerned about the homeless problem in the community. The Hillcrest Business Association provides security, but some shop owners say that is not working. In fact they have to hire their own.

One proprietor we talked to in Hillcrest says he is leaving the neighborhood and the state because the problem has gotten so bad. "The reason we are leaving in March is because the homeless issue is just horrible."

The Hillcrest Town Council is holding their public September Community Meeting on Tuesday, September 12. 

District 3 councilmember Chris Ward will be in attendance to discuss the strategies to address homelessness. 

That meeting will be held at The Joyce Beers Community Center from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

The Joyce Beers Community Center is located at 3900 Vermont St, San Diego, CA 92103.