POSTED: Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 7:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A Louisville, Kentucky teen is recovering at home after being injured in an attack by a group of adults.
Her family believes she's a victim of a hate crime.
The girl, who suffered several injuries including a broken jaw, was with two younger boys when the attack happened.
They said the adults yelled anti-gay slurs at the girl before she was beaten.
"Her jaw is broken in several places and she has to have a plate put in her jaw," said family friend Brenda Hickerson. "She has teeth knocked out of her mouth and she has scrapes and bruises."
Andi Hornback, the mother of the two boys, got a call after 1:00 Tuesday morning.
Her sons, ages 13 and 15, had slipped out of the house for a quick walk to a store around the corner.
"My son called me and said 'Mom, can you come meet us because we feel uncomfortable," she says. "There are four grown-ups following us a little too close."
The boys said the men started yelling anti-gay slurs toward the teen girl before they could give their mom the exact location over the phone.
"I can't even describe it to you," she said holding back tears, "I'm getting ready to cry, hearing my child scream and know that they were hurt and they were scared and I couldn't get there fast enough."
By the time Hornback arrived EMS and police were there.
One of her two sons suffered a concussion after being knocked down trying to help the girl.
"She was on the ground with blood just pouring out of her face," Hickerson said, "These grown men put her on the ground, kicked her in her stomach, kicked her in her face and punched her in the face and kept going until a bystander yelled stop and called 911."
"I think she was targeted for being a strong lesbian young girl," Hickerson added.
The violence happened in front of two churches.
Jeff McCarty, the Pastor of St. James Church said hearing about the beating makes him sad.
"How sorry I am that this happened anywhere but, especially in front of our church family," he said.
"This was a hate crime," Hickerson said, "There were hate slurs and this was not a robbery because they didn't take anything from them."
The boys say the woman in the group of adults didn't attack anyone.
They are hoping she or someone who knows what happened will go to police.
Hickerson wants to believe the woman's conscience will guide her, "Otherwise, you are saying that this is right to hate," she said, "and it's just not right!"
Louisville Metro Police are investigating the assault.