THOMPSON, Conn. — An alleged hate crime at a local racetrack has resulted in a state police investigation.
The attack at the track happening at Thompson Speedway over the weekend, taking place among those camping on the property.
"In recent years I made the decision to start showing up at the races as my full self," said Daniel Kaminski, of Bethany.
Kaminski, who is gay, has been part of the local race scene since driving quarter midgets in the 1990s. He now chronicles the social side of racing through his photography.
"I was attacked because I’m gay," he alleged.
The alleged assault took place after 11 p.m. on Sunday.
"I was attacked from behind, blindsided, hit in the back of the head, knocked to the ground," Kaminski said.
He described the assailant, who allegedly repeatedly yelled a gay slur at him, as stocky, medium build, approximately 5'7", wearing a gray or dark hoodie. State Police confirm Kaminski lodged a complaint, but they have not yet filed a report.
"I have friends who, who instead of saying, when I say I’m going to the racetrack instead of them saying have fun they say be safe," he said. "They’re saying be safe. You’re gay. That’s a target."
On Tuesday night, he shared his story on Facebook.
"I was getting messages from Facebook, from Instagram, text messages, phone calls and there was an overwhelming outpouring of support," Kaminski said.
Thompson Speedway said they were devastated to receive this news. Kaminski wants a stronger message.
"That the race tracks themselves will do everything they can to ensure the safety of anybody who wants to show up at the races to enjoy the experience of stock car racing," he said.
One positive to come out of this ordeal for Kaminski, he says, is that every race track he’s ever visited has already reached out to him to show their support.
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