Suspect arrested for Beltline beating, gay slurs

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A 31-year-old man surrendered to Atlanta police on Wednesday, a day after photos were published linking him to a violent confrontation on the Atlanta Beltline in which he allegedly beat a man while yelling anti-gay slurs.

Michael D. Sanders (photo) faces a misdemeanor battery charge and was being held on a $5,000 bond in the Fulton County Jail.

Atlanta police sought Sanders for his alleged role in a trail rage incident on the Beltline's Eastside Trail on May 23. Quinn Alexander Chrzan told Atlanta police that a man became aggressive and yelled, “I know you saw me there faggot” after Chrzan, riding a bike, had to suddenly stop behind the suspect, who was jogging, on the crowded trail.

“A lot of my friends are gay and using that kind of language is not OK,” Chrzan, who is not gay, told Project Q Atlanta on Tuesday.

When Chrzan tried to capture a photo, the suspect attacked Chrzan, making him fall from his bike into a wall, which sliced open his right hand and required six stitches. Chrzan said he was pinned against the wall and his bike, and his attacker repeatedly punched him in the face, head and upper body, according to a police incident report.

“He ended up stopping [jogging] and saw me and confronted me. He kept calling me faggot. I asked him not to use homophobic slurs and he pushed me off my bike into a wall. He just whaled on my face for like 15 or 20 seconds,” Chrzan said.

Chrzan recorded video of a portion of the attack and Atlanta police pulled images of the suspect from that. Sanders surrendered a day after media reports published the images of him. On Wednesday, Atlanta police released video of the inident recorded by a nearby surveillance camera.



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