AUSTIN, Texas - An Austin man said he was the victim of a hate crime after being punched twice on 6th street over the weekend.
He tells FOX 7 that he suffered a severe concussion and has temporarily lost hearing in his right ear. For now, it has caused him to stop performing as a saxophonist. The man said he was minding his own business when he was assaulted. His biggest hope is that police can find the guy, before something worse happens.
"I didn't do anything and to have this random, random act of violence against you...like how safe would you feel after that?" said Michael Temple, victim of alleged assault.
Michael Temple was leaving Friends Bar around 1:45 Saturday morning. He was headed to his car when he said he came across a group of six or seven African American men at sixth and Sabine.
"When I was walking by them the dude said, 'F Donald Trump' and then just full force punched me right in the ear," said Temple.
He was knocked to the ground, then got back up. Moments later he said he was sucker-punched again, in the back of the head, before the men scattered off.
"Got back to my car, made it home thank God. That night I couldn't hear out of my ear at all. The next day I wake up and couldn't hear out of my ear, so I went to urgent care. She saw there was fluid behind my ear," said Temple.
He was told to go to the emergency room. Doctors told Temple he also suffered a severe concussion. While there, he reported what happened to the Austin Police Department, who have listed the incident as assault with injury.
"To me, honestly, I think it's a hate crime. Why would you say 'F Donald Trump' and hit me? If you just hit me and didn't say anything... but am I associated with Donald Trump because, does white mean you're associated with Donald Trump? I didn't vote for him, I don't stand for anything he believes in," said Temple.
Temple has been a saxophonist for more than 30 years. For now, because of his injury, he is unable to play. He is praying he can fully recover.
"Playing as a musician, not being able to hear out of my right ear and just because of pressure, it will be painful for me to play. Like I can't play at all right now. It's very frustrating because it's what I love, it's my hobby, it's like my passion. To have that taken away from you, hopefully it's not permanently," said Temple.
Temple said the guy who punched him was a dark-skinned African American, around 6'2 in height, between 24 and 25 years old and wearing dark clothing. He reached out to FOX 7 for help, hoping someone may have seen something or that a business has the incident on surveillance.
"He hit me hard enough to give me a concussion, he could kill somebody else," said Temple.
Again, the incident happened early Saturday, around 1:45 a.m., at the corner of sixth and Sabine.
If you have any information, you're asked to call the Austin Police Department.