Gay Couple in Denver Allegedly Stabbed Multiple Times for Holding Hands

A man who has been accused of stabbing a gay couple in Denver for holding hands has been arrested.

The Denver Police Department announced on Tuesday that Dylan Payne, 24, was arrested for stabbing Chris Huizar, 19, and Gabriel Roman, 23, while they were walking home from Church nightclub on Sunday, May 27.

The couple told KUSA that they were walking back from the nightclub just after midnight when Payne allegedly yelled homophobic slurs at them. Huizar said Payne stabbed him in the neck, and Roman attempted to stop him by putting up his hand to block Payne. According to CBS4, Payne used a folding pocket knife to stab the couple.

"We were just walking, and I guess he didn't like what he saw," Huizar told KUSA. "That we were holding hands."

Roman was stabbed in his hand for trying to stop Payne, and as the couple turned to run away, Roman said he was also stabbed in the back. The two ran to a nearby 7-11 to ask for help, CBS4 reported.

"Just seeing him in my arms bleeding. I just didn't want him to die," Huizar said.

Huizar created a Gofundme page to help pay for the couple's hospital bills and other expenses. The campaign has already raised over $9,500, exceeding their $5,000 goal.

"We were simply holding hands when a white male yells ["f---ing f----ts"] and comes running up behind and stabbed me in the neck & my boyfriend got stabbed in his hand and his back. We were just holding hands minding our business," Huizar wrote. "We both can't work because of our conditions, anything helps."

Payne faces charges of first-degree assault, and the assault is being investigated as a hate crime, CBS4 reported. He is being held on $25,000 bond.

Hate crime incidents against the LGBTQ community have risen, according to a recent FBI data report. In 2016, there were 6,121 hate crime incidents reported, an increase of five percent from 2015. There were 1,076 hate crimes committed based on sexual orientation bias, according to the report.