By Sophie Flay
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A man who was beaten outside a hookah lounge in North Hollywood says he was the victim of a hate crime and was targeted because of his sexuality.
Beverly Hills resident Deijae Johnson says he was rushed to the hospital after the incident last Friday night outside Cloud9 Hookah Lounge.
He says the attack left him without his front teeth and he needed stitches in his lip. He believes it was a hate crime.
“I do believe it was because at the end of the day, it’s like, you’re kicking me and calling me (expletive) while I’m on the ground,” Johnson said.
Johnson says he was trying to get into the hookah lounge when a man stopped him at the door and tried to charge him $100 to get in.
When he said he didn’t want to pay the fee, according to Johnson, that’s when the man at the door started to attack him.
“He ran up, head-butted me. As soon as he head-butted me, my teeth fell out my mouth. My lip busted,” said Johnson, who added he was left with a bleeding nose.
He says the man who attacked him did not work at the hookah lounge.
Los Angeles police told Eyewitness News the department is investigating the incident, but has not deemed it a hate crime investigation at the moment.
Eyewitness News reached out to the hookah lounge, but has not heard back.
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