Derbyshire police said today that homophobic comments were reported to have been made during the incident in Queen’s Park earlier this month.
A group of teenage boys are alleged to have thrown items at the man, shouted abuse, spat at him and punched him.
The man has suffered cuts and bruising to his eye and face during the incident close to the park’s main bandstand.
A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesperson said: “Homophobic comments were reported to have been made during this incident at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, May 3, and we are treating the report as a hate crime.
“Enquiries are continuing and we would still like to hear from any witnesses, or anyone with information, who hasn’t yet spoken to officers.”
It is believed the boys were around 16 years old or older and were wearing tracksuits.
A police spokesperson previously said: “Were you in the Queen’s Park area around that time? Do you have any information which could help?
"If you can help please contact us on the non-emergency details below, quoting reference 22000252404.”
Facebook – send a private message to the force’s Facebook page
Twitter – direct message @DerPolContact
Website – use the online contact form
Phone – call 101.
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.