We have arrested a man following an incident in Liverpool City centre yesterday (Thursday 17 June).
At around 4.45am we received a report of an altercation on Fleet Street involving two males.
Emergency services attended and a 19-year-old man was taken to hospital with facial injuries.
A 26-year-old man from Bolton was arrested on suspicion of Section 47 assault.
He has since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Officers have received a third party report that a homophobic slur was directed towards the victim during the attack, however, this has so far been unconfirmed.
We are urging anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward with any information.
Detective Sergeant Sara Lang said: “This was an appalling incident leaving a man injured and, although we have made one arrest, our investigations continue.
“Following our enquiries so far we have had an unconfirmed report that a homophobic slur was directed at the victim during the incident.
“We at Merseyside Police simply will not tolerate people being targeted in this manner and so, if you were in the Fleet Street area in the early hours of Thursday morning, and saw, heard or captured anything please let us know and we will take action.
“Over the past few weeks there have been several appalling hate crimes in our city centre and we are working tirelessly to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“Everyone in Merseyside has the right to go about their daily business without the fear of being subjected to verbal or physical abuse based on their sexuality, and we remain committed to ensuring they can.
“I would take this opportunity to urge any victim of hate crime on Merseyside to please come forward and let us know. We have a team of officers and staff dedicated to protecting vulnerable people - including minority groups – who will make sure you will be supported at every step as sensitively as possible.”
Anyone with information on the incident on Thursday morning, or on hate crime on Merseyside, is asked to contact us via our social media desk on Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ with reference 21000422905.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.