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Suspects Sought In Center City Alleged Attack Of Same-Sex Couple

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Police have released surveillance video of the suspects wanted in connection with an attack on a same-sex couple in Center City.

9/17/14 UPDATE: Police initially said they were investigating the assault as a hate crime. On Wednesday, the Philadelphia District Attorney's office told CBS 3 Eyewitness News the assault does not fall under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's hate crime law.

Thanks to the crystal clear video, detectives tell CBS 3 Eyewitness News they are getting a lot of tips from people about who these suspects are.

There is a lot of outrage over this attack and Tuesday night, the victims are asking people to not take justice into their own hands.

The suspects look like any group you might see walking in your local mall.

Police describe the dozen or so men and women in their early 20's as clean cut and well dressed. One wearing an orange sweater vest, another a button down shirt.

A surprising group of suspects to people CBS 3 Eyewitness News showed the video to.

"It's just also strange to see, according to the video you showed me here, is it's people of my generation as well," B.J. Enzweiler of Center City said.

"What is everybody so mad about? I just don't get it. People are entitled to live their lifestyle how they choose," Shandell Allgood of Center City said.

To the gay couple who was savagely beaten as gay slurs were being yelled at them in Center City on September 11th, they contend looks can be deceiving.

"'What is this your f'ing boyfriend?' And I said 'yes this is my f'ing boyfriend,'" the 26-year-old man said Monday night as he described the attack.

"Three guys just started pummeling me, and knocked me to the ground. I hit the ground hard and I was out hard," one victim said.

The suspects were caught on a surveillance camera walking in Center City just minutes before the attack took place.

It was just before 11 p.m. on September 11th when the couple was attacked on 16th Street just south of Walnut at Chancellor.

The 28-year-old victim was beaten so badly he was hospitalized for more than three days. He has a large cut and bruises to his face and his jaw will be wired shut for eight weeks due to severe orbital fractures.

His 26-year-old boyfriend has bruises to his face.

It was an attack people in the neighborhood find disturbing.

"Us as a city, we're trying to be more progressive … I can't even fathom the thought," Sean Doan of Center City said.

A combined $11,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the suspects.

Anyone with any information on the suspects or the incident is urged to contact police at 215-686-TIPS (8477).

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