The gay community in Benton Harbor – a small Michigan town located near Kalamazoo – is rallying behind a man after he was allegedly gay bashed, the South Bend Tribune reported.

The man reported the incident to the county's GLBT community center, OutCenter.

Police responded to an altercation between two men at a gas station about 6AM on December 12. The man said his assailant punched him in the face after asking, “What's up?” The victim was treated at the scene for cuts and abrasions, Benton Township Police Chief Vincent Fetke told the paper.

The assailant reportedly yelled anti-gay slurs. Police say they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

A second attack reported to OutCenter that occurred three weeks ago in nearby St. Joseph is stoking fears of increasing anti-gay sentiment in the area.

Benton Harbor sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, about 50 minutes by car from Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo received national attention in November when voters decided not to repeal a city ordinance that outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.