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Unsolved gaybashing?

As the first anniversary of Tony Robertson’s beating death passed quietly earlier this month, Vancouver homicide detectives appealed for more public assistance.

The 51-year-old gay man was viciously beaten on Main St, two blocks off Hastings, after he left the Dufferin early on the morning of Oct 8, 2005. He was last seen alive leaving the hotel pub at around 2 am. He was heard to say he was going home by transit.

Police responded quickly and soon determined that two men watched while another, heavy-set man with a crew cut in his early 20s assaulted Robertson.

Now they believe Robertson may have had a verbal exchange with the men before one of them attacked him.

But they don’t believe the incident was a gaybashing.

“We don’t want to say it’s a gaybashing because there’s just no evidence,” Sgt Richard Akin told Xtra West last year. “Until we have something, I don’t think it would be prudent to say it was a gaybashing. It isn’t there. We’re fully cognisant of it, and if it is an issue we will be dealing with it in the appropriate way.”

Robbery has been ruled out as a motive.

After the assault, police believe the three men fled southbound on Main St.

Though a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved expired on Oct 8, police are still asking witnesses to come forward with any information they might have.

Robertson was only blocks from the Strathcona home he shared with David Reed, his partner of 22 years, when he was beaten and left to die.

If you have any information about his attack call Det Mark Bragagnolo: 604.717.2500.