Eight young men carrying baseball bats, lengths of wood and metal cables, attacked a teen-age boy near Patterson Park last night. City police described the assault as a "gay bashing."
Shortly after the attack and a chase, police arrested three men and a teen-ager, all from eastern Baltimore County. Each of them was charged with assaulting a 17-year-old East Baltimore boy who is homosexual, police said.
Police said the victim sustained multiple facial injuries but refused medical treatment.
Officer Robin Reiland said the teen-ager, a resident of East Pratt Street, was standing at Bank Street and Patterson Park Avenue around 10 p.m. when a 1991 Toyota pickup truck containing eight males stopped.
In last night's attack, Officer Reiland said one of the occupants yelled out, "We're going to [beat] you up, faggot."
Officer Reiland said all eight occupants bailed out of truck and attacked the victim. Several bystanders fled for fear of also being assaulted. After the beating, the men jumped back into the vehicle, which sped off.
Officer Michael Arminger arrived as the attack was ending and radioed a description of the vehicle's occupants. He and Officer Reiland pursued the pickup truck.
They stopped the truck In the 100 block of S. Oldham St. and arrested four occupants.
Officer Reiland said the other four men jumped off the truck during the pursuit and are being sought.
Charged with aggravated assault and held overnight at the Southeastern District station pending a bail hearing were James Taylor, 18, of the 800 block of N. Avondale Road; Michael Hajek, 19, of the 1900 block of Codd Ave., and Robert Flage, 18, of the 7900 block of Trappe Road.
The teen-ager arrested, whose identity is protected because he is a juvenile, was released into the custody of his parents.
Police said the area long has been known as a hangout for young homosexuals, and there have been several other incidents of alleged gay bashing in the park.
Terry A. Ostrowski, 18, and Anthony Fields, 16, were convicted of manslaughter earlier this year of beating a homosexual man to death last summer in Patterson Park. A third teen-ager was acquitted.
The victim, James Charles Turch, was beaten last June 27 with a 4-foot wooden stake.