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Suspect in alleged west Denver attack on gay man turns himself in

DENVER — A man accused of assaulting another man outside a hookah lounge turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators say this may be a hate crime, with the victim claiming he was attacked because he is gay.

According to police, 20-year-old Tilo Sandoval is the suspect in that attack, which reportedly took place near Sam’s Hookah Lounge on the corner of Alameda Avenue and Zuni Street over Labor Day weekend.

Jared Olsen, 23, was the victim in the attack, and told police he and his friends had been out at a club before going to the hookah lounge. That’s when he said two men approached the group and called them names, including gay slurs.

“They were just cussing at us and slurring, then one guy walked to my door and opened it and hit me in the face,” Olsen said. “We drove off right after that.”

Jared’s injuries were not life threatening, but he reportedly lost several teeth and says he may need surgery to treat painful injuries to his face.

“It’s so disheartening and disgusting that anyone would do that to anybody,” Olsen’s mother. Melody Olsen, said. “Not just my child, but anybody’s. And it’s just because they don’t approve of (their sexual orientation).”

There are security cameras near the lounge that police are utilizing as part of their investigation. Police are also hoping to get any witness information they can.

If you have any information about the attack you can call police at 720-913-2000.