This is the story of a West Hollywood hate crime to the second degree.

A gay African American man walking in the dark of early morning this week was confronted by three Latino men in an SUV who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, according to a statement from the L.A. Sheriff's Department.

One of the suspects got out of the vehicle and punched the victim in the face, causing him to fall backward and lose consciousness, deputies said.

He was treated at a hospital.

The trio fled, and now authorities want to talk to these winners about what could be a double hate crime and an assault.

It happened Tuesday at 2:45 a.m., according to the statement:

During the early morning hours of January 20, the victim exited a bus at the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood. As he was walking northbound, crossing Santa Monica Boulevard., he saw a white Audi Q4, facing southbound, waiting for him to cross the street. As he neared the curb, he heard the occupants yell numerous slurs related to his race and sexual orientation. The victim is African American.

The suspects parked and got out of the Audi and approached the victim on foot. When the victim stopped to address the suspects, he was punched in the face …

Audi has yet to sell a Q4 model in the United States, but a deputy told us authorities believe it was an Audi SUV, possibly a Q5.

Anyone who witnessed the crime or who might know how to track down this trio was asked to call sheriff's officials at the West Hollywood Station: 310-855-8850.

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