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Police: Homophobic Slurs Written on Robbery Victim's Forehead

By Deneisha Pearson
By dpearson@wbbjtv.com

PARIS, Tenn. -- A violent beating some are calling a hate crime happened inside a health food store across from a Paris church, right at closing time Wednesday night.

"You know I don't know whether you need to carry a gun with you at all times or have a security system there's just no way of knowing," Customer Ronnie Russell said.

Police say the owner was beaten unconscious, robbed of $1200 and a three letter homophobic slur written on his forehead in marker.

An insurance clerk at a local clinic in Paris says the crime is appalling.

"I don't know if it was because of the robbery aspect or the sexual orientation of the individual that was accosted and that bothers me," Cloy said.

Paris police say as three men beat the man they called him defamatory names. The victim told police he awoke to see two of the men pouring gas on the floor.

Receptionist with the local clinic, Barbra Rader, says businesses in the area are shocked about what happened.

"Now we all tend to be more cautious and lock our doors, you know, so that people can't come in after hours," Rader said.

No arrests have been made and that has Amanda McDaniel, a local spa receptionist, on edge.

"Knowing that it could just happen across the road is pretty frightening," McDaniel said.

Police reports say the suspects, described as white men were last seen running down an alley toward Blythe street.

Police say one of the suspects was described as about 6-feet tall and 200 pounds.

He had short brown hair, brown eyes and a goatee.

If you have any information in this crime, contact the Paris Police Department.