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Orange County eatery accused of "gay bashing" in lawsuit

Two men are suing a Newport Beach eatery for civil rights violations and emotional distress, accusing them of being homophobic.
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A lawsuit has been filed by three Orange County men who say they were assaulted by a Newport Beach Italian restaurant, one staff member calling them a gay slur, reports the Orange County Register.

It happened on April 13 when Angel Bonilla, Colton Moyer, and Clement Serafin say they were on Balboa Island and decided to visit the Siena Restaurant inside the Balboa Inn for dinner.

The suit states that the men were immediately questioned by the female bartender who, “demanded that (the men) show their respective identification cards because she wanted to create a ruse for refusing to serve them when her real motive was to not serve gay men.”

The trio asserts that there were not drunk or under the influence of drugs.

The lawsuit goes on to say that after Mr. Serafin presented his I.D. the bartender allegedly handed it to a person sitting at the bar who “commented loudly that it was ‘definitely a fake.'"

The suit adds that the Identification card is not fake and Serafin is in his 30’s.

“This was done with the specific intent to cause humiliation and mental suffering … because they are gay and because Bonilla is Hispanic,” the suit says.

The men say they asked to speak to a manager but were told to get out by the bartender who also called them a gay slur, according to the complaint.

Cellphone videos (see below) of the incident show only part of the altercation in which a woman yells, “get out of here,” before a man yanks Moyer off of his barstool and aggressively pushes him out the door.

The other video documents what happens outside the eatery as Bonilla is thrown to the pavement, “You’ve been warned!” yells the man.

The lawsuit says Bonilla suffered injuries and his cell phone broke when it hit the pavement.

Michel Pourmussa who owns the Balboa Inn has yet to make a statement.

The men are suing the establishment for civil rights violations and emotional distress, the amount they are seeking has not been disclosed. 

Social media has weighed in on the report. The Balboa Inn Facebook page has received many comments lambasting the restaurant for their alleged behavior 

"Horrible bigoted establishment. Three Orange County men are suing Newport Beach’s Balboa Inn after they say they were called a gay slurs and assaulted by staff in the hotel’s Italian restaurant earlier this month. This establishment should be boycotted and closed," posted one person. 

"Total scum company. Homophobic, racist and violent. I hope the lawsuit hits them and the idiot that injured one of the customers."

Wrote another, "Clean your house, no excuse for homophobia. Staff should be let go. There are no circumstances that make that behavior acceptable."

Warning: The below videos contain violence and expletives.