A gay man was assaulted after leaving a popular queer bar in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood late Saturday night, sending him to the hospital with serious injuries.
In an Instagram post displaying considerable bruising to his face, Barry Miles stated that he was jumped after leaving Folsom Street’s Powerhouse on Feb. 4 by two men, who also stole his wallet. His face struck the sidewalk, knocking out a tooth and fracturing his neck. He was “pretty banged up,” he said.
“I also had a heart attack,” Miles’ post read. “They put in two stents.”
Reached for comment, the San Francisco Police Department confirmed the incident, noting that officers responded to a well-being check on nearby Langton Street just minutes after midnight on Sunday, Feb. 5.
"The victim was unable to provide details regarding what led up to his injuries," SFPD told The Standard. "Officers responded to a business on the 1300 block of Folsom Street, where the male stated he had come from and during their initial investigation, officers were unable to determine that a crime had occurred at that location."
Gary Virginia, a longtime leader in the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ communities, quickly organized a GoFundMe page for Miles. He noted that Miles, who is self-employed, was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at San Francisco General Hospital and will need extensive medical care to recover.
Miles is also a well-known figure in a number of queer-centered community groups, including the Mardi Gras-themed charitable organization Krewe de Kinque and the Bare Chest Calendar.
The Powerhouse draws substantial crowds on a typical Saturday night. On weekends, a taco truck is typically stationed outside the bar, which is on the same block of Folsom Street as another LGBTQ+ venue, Hole in the Wall.
The Standard has reached out to Miles for more details, and to the Powerhouse.
The SF District Attorney’s Office is yet to comment on the incident or rule Saturday’s assault as a hate crime.
San Francisco is often regarded as a sanctuary for LGBTQ+ people, but alleged gay bashings happen here, too. In early 2022, a gay man named Pepe Solis was beaten unconscious and sustained serious injuries in a late-night assault in the Castro.
This is a developing story.
Astrid Kane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org