After hate crime allegations against a Colorado Mesa University football player surfaced Sunday, the college's Gay Straight Alliance group says this kind of discrimination is not all that uncommon.
Chelsea Gallagher, the victim in this case, claims Shane Williams, 20, came after her because she said she was gay. Monday, she continued her recovery in the hospital.
"You would never assume a guy would do that," she told us Sunday in her hospital room. "I weigh 130 pounds, he could have easily pushed me or anything to stop me but what he did was really unnecessary."
Days removed from her Friday morning bar fight, Gallagher still doesn't understand why Williams allegedly came after her. "I just know they were saying stuff about us being gay and about my girlfriend looking like a man," she recounted.
Sarah Swedberg with CMU's Gay Straight Alliance group says that kind of feeling is the harsh reality for many gay people in communities across the country. "Unfortunately that makes you a target."
Swedberg only spoke generally about issue because she was not sure of all the details in this case. She says she's sadly not surprised someone would feel victimized because of their sexual orientation.
"I don't think it's any different on campus than it is off campus."
The fight involving Gallagher and Williams broke out just after midnight Friday morning at the Red Room Bar and Lounge in Grand Junction. Witnesses tell police it started as an argument before becoming physical.
After a few swings from the victim and the suspect, they say Williams then picked Gallagher up and slammed her to the ground like a football tackle. The victim was knocked out cold.
"My skull is fractured, my eye is black and I can't really hear out of my ear," she said.
Williams, listed as a red-shirt freshman running back for CMU, was arrested and charged with second degree assault, underage drinking, and having a fake I.D.
Now, because of these publicized claims, police are also looking into that hate crime allegation. Officers tell us the Mesa County District Attorney's Office could add that charge as soon as Williams' next day in court.
Gallagher was expected to leave the hospital Monday as she prepares for a long recovery ahead.
"I'm not going to stop being who I am," she declared. "So, just hopefully I don't have to deal with something like this again."