Was Seattle attack a hate crime or a simple robbery?

SEATTLE -- A gay Seattle man says he was attacked on Capitol Hill Sunday night, and now some are asking if it was a robbery or a hate crime.

Late Sunday night, Cassidy Katims was waiting for a bus alone on the corner of 23rd Avenue East and and East John Street.

Katims said the trouble began when a girl grabbed his bag. But because the bag was over his shoulder and under his jacket, the woman couldn't get to it.

As she tugged on the bag, Katims said the robbery went from violent to hateful as the woman began hurling homophobic slurs at him.

"That was the main word, that's where it gets sticky for me because words of those nature change the attack and that's what makes this awful and hate filled and gross," he said.

Katims said he pulled a bottle of milk from his bag and dumped it on the attacker, hoping to distract her. He said that's when two of her friends moved in and the physical assault was one.

While he was being attacked, Katims said he was able to kick his way free, breaking the woman's tooth. He hasn't filed a police report, but plans to meet with an officer on Wednesday to decide if he will.

Katims said he doesn't want to believe Sunday's attack was a hate crime, but he wants to warn everyone to avoid his mistake and not walk alone late at night.

"I'd say the absolute most critical thing is to travel in pairs, at least in pairs, because unfortunately the people hurting other people are not traveling alone," he said.

Katins said as ugly as his experience was, he was encouraged by what happened when he arrived in Ballard. He said workers at the Hazelwood Bar saw his condition, cleaned him him up and got him a cab ride home.