Alleged assault on gay couple filed as misdemeanor

MISSOULA — The alleged assault on a gay couple earlier this month in downtown will likely be filed as a misdemeanor offense. Missoula Police Department officials said because gender identity is not covered under the protections of state law the case would not be considered a hate crime. Police have identified the suspects involved in the Feb. 11 incident, in which the victims told police they were leaving a local club when two other men yelled a homophobic slur and started beating them up.