A gay couple in Oregon says it was their pink poodle Beauty who prompted a man to violently attack them in broad daylight last Friday.
David Beltier and Jeremy Mark were near a strip mall in Hillsboro with Beauty when 22-year-old George Allen Mason, Jr. allegedly spotted them and began hurling homophobic slurs in their direction.
"Your poodle is a weird color and that's just un-American," Mark recalled the suspect saying. "Fuck you, you fags." At that, Mason allegedly stepped out of his SUV, and began assaulting Beltier with his fists.
"After that, he turns around, he goes back to his car, runs back to his car and brings out this long wrench-looking crowbar tool or something like that, and he comes back after me," Beltier told KATU.
Mason reportedly got a few strikes in before passing motorists chased him away.
"If I didn't hear all the other people honking, all the people seeing what was going on, he could have probably severely hurt me, maybe even killed me right there and then," Beltier said.
Eyewitness who grabbed the licence plate number off Mason's 1997 Land Rover helped police track him down to a nearby parking lot where he was arrested early Saturday morning along with his girlfriend, Saraya Gardner.
"I'm so grateful for the community," said Beltier. "If it wasn't for a lot of the witnesses and all the community people, it probably could have been really disastrous."
Police did advise Beltier to remove the Kool-Air dye from Beauty's fur "for his safety," but Beltier declined, saying "he doesn't want the attacker to win and have control over his life."