DENVER (CBS4)– The man accused of stabbing a gay couple while yelling homophobic slurs has been arrested.

Investigators say Dylan Payne, 24, used a folding pocket knife to stab the men just after midnight Sunday.

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Dylan Payne (credit: CBS)

Police say the couple told officers that Payne was yelling homophobic slurs at them when he attacked outside The Church nightclub at 1100 Lincoln Street.

The incident happened early Sunday morning as the couple was holding hands while leaving the club.

Christopher Huizar, 19, and Gabriel Roman, 23, ran about three quarters of a mile to a 7-11, collapsing and seeking help.

(credit: GoFundMe)

The couple has since posted a GoFundMe page.

The incident has echoes of the Matthew Shepard case 20 years ago. Shepard, a Wyoming man, was attacked and left to die near Laramie.

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Jason Marsden, the executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation was a friend of the couple attacked Sunday.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Jason Marsden. (credit: CBS)

“It’s a slap in the face to discover that some of these old fears of hate crimes and other bias motivated behavior are still happening in a progress community like Denver,” he said.

When asked if he urges gays to be less openly affectionate in public, he had advice.

“All of us need to be vigilant about who we are, who is around us, God forbid how we might be able to get away or call for help,” he said.

Dylan Payne (credit: Denver Police)

In court, Payne’s attorney suggested serious bodily injury did not occur.

Payne faces charges of first-degree assault. The attack is being investigated as a hate crime.

Both men have serious injuries.

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He is now being held on a $25,000 bond as the investigation continues.