Plano police said two men made sexual remarks to two women holding hands and then assaulted an 18-year-old man who told the men to leave the women alone.
Police said the man was attacked after he and two female friends walked out of Plano Sports Authority in the 600 block of Seabrook Drive on May 27.
Two men walked up and started making sexually oriented, derogatory comments, Officer David Tilley said.
The men became angry when the 18-year-old man told them to leave the women alone, Tilley said.
"They started the assaulting the young man ... pretty much hitting him, kicking him and, at one point, they even took out a handgun and started beating him with the handgun," he said.
The man's injuries were so severe that he received stitches on his face.
The women were not injured.
Plano police said the attack is one of the city's worst hate crimes in recent years. Tilley said police classified the attack as a hate crime because the comments toward the women were sexually oriented.
“We believe there was a good possibility the reason this young man was attacked is because he was defending what was being said to them," he said. "That's the reason we have classified this as a hate crime."
Officers described one of the men as a 6-foot to 6-foot-2-inch tall black man between the ages of 18 to 25 who weighs 180 to 200 pounds. Police said he is of a medium build and has brown hair, dreadlocks with orange highlights and a tattoo on the left forearm.
Police described the other man as a 5-foot-9-inch to 5-foot-11-inch tall black man between the ages of 17 to 20 who weighs 170 pounds. Officers said he has a medium build and short black hair styled in an Afro.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Plano Police Department at 972-424-5678.