"I was walking on the right side of the elevator when someone hit me, punched me on the right side of my jaw," a 23-year-old victim of a brutal attack told FOX 5.
The attack came out of nowhere and left the victim with his jaw broken in two places and four teeth nearly knocked out. He has dozens of stitches, two metal plates in his mouth and his mouth is now wired shut, which is why it is difficult to understand when he speaks.
After the first punch, he was thrown to the ground and the group of young men were hitting and kicking him repeatedly.
"I did hear someone yell, ‘Get that effing fa****,' while I was on the ground," the victim said.
Metro Transit Police is investigating whether this was a hate crime because the victim is gay or a random mugging because the suspects took off with his phone.
Images of the suspects were taken from surveillance video at the Congress Heights Metro station in Southeast D.C. on Saturday April 11 between 10:45 and 11 p.m. when the victim was jumped.
"I was disoriented at the time," he explained. "My glasses fell off so I really couldn't see."
He also suffered a concussion, so he didn't realize the seriousness of his injuries, and he didn't report them or go to the hospital until the next day.
"I woke up and there was blood all over the pillow," said the victim.
He headed to the emergency room and ended up on an operating table.
Now a week after his surgeries, he is still in pain, on a liquid diet and worried about his personal safety.
"I'm hopeful justice will be served," he said. "But I'm also grateful to still be alive because sometimes these things do turn fatal and the person is killed."
This young man is receiving financial and medical help from D.C.'s Office of Victim Services. But his friends have set up an account to provide additional help as well.
Anyone who recognizes the suspects or knows anything about the crime is asked to call Metro Transit Police.