Portland police are investigating a Sunday morning attack on a man who was dressed in women’s clothing outside the Clinton Street Theater as a possible bias crime.
Carlos Cervantes, 53, of Yacolt was knocked to the ground and kicked in the head several times by a man who had yelled an epithet at him, police said.
Cervantes said Monday he had been dressed in drag for a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a long-running cult classic that features a newly married couple and a cross-dressing mad scientist. The movie, which has played in some venues for decades, encourages audience participation and dress-up.
After the movie, Cervantes said, he was outside with other patrons when a man came out of a nearby bar and made some comments that he couldn’t understand. A second man joined the heckler, and Cervantes decided to walk away, he said.
But as Cervantes was about to cross Southeast 26th Avenue, he said, he was thrown to the ground. One of the men kicked his head several times until witnesses pulled him off, he said.
Cervantes, a student at Clark College in Vancouver, now has bruises on his face and on his body from where he fell, he said.
“Just because I’m dressed up like that doesn’t mean I’m gay or straight or bisexual,” he said. “I’m an old man. I didn’t do anything.”
Police said the suspect was last seen heading south on Southeast 27th. Bias crime detectives are handling the investigation.