Three men say they're suing an upscale Newport Beach restaurant after they were targeted and assaulted because they are gay. The lawsuit was filed this week against the Siena Cucina Italiana at the Balboa Inn after an incident that happened on April 13th.
The suit claims that the incident began after a bartender asked for their IDs, calling one of them fake, despite each man all being over the age of 21. When they asked to talk to a manager, that apparently escalated to having other employees get involved, with some yelling anti-gay slurs.
Video of the altercation was taken at the scene and shows one man throwing one of the victims out the door.
"You've been warned," he growls in the video, while the man lies on the ground, appearing to be in pain. The man in the bar is believed to be a patron there, and not an employee.
Police are now looking for the suspect seen in the video and are asking for the public's assistance in identifying him. He's described as a white male, about 40-55 years old, with grey hair. He is about 6' tall, weighing about 200 lbs. Anyone who can offer assistance is encouraged to contact Detective Rick Henry at 949-644-3790. Messages may also be left anonymously on the Police Department’s recorded hotline at 1-800-550-NBPD.
The lawsuit is seeking damages of $1 million for each man.
Photo: Newport Beach Police Department