Battle Creek police are investigating an alleged hate crime after a man says he was the victim of an attack at an area liquor store. 24-year-old Derrick Kilbourn, who is gay, has gained attention on social media after posting about his experience.

Kilbourn says he and his mother stopped at Sam's Discount Party Store on Dickman Road when he noticed someone staring at him as we went to enter the store. When he returned to his car, Kilbourn says the man and two others came up to him and started harassing him using homophobic slurs and threatening to beat him up and "drag him through the mud". The situation escalated when one of the men punched out the back window of his car.

An officer who responded to the scene initially told Kilbourn to simply file the car damage with his insurance company. The Battle Creek Police Department says they are now investigating the case as a hate crime and are trying to identify the suspects through surveillance video.