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No rally after Moorhead cops say alleged attack wasn’t hate crime

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MOORHEAD, Minn. - A gay rights group has canceled a campus rally at Minnesota State University Moorhead after police said Tuesday that further investigation of an alleged attack led them to believe it was not a hate crime.

The Fargo-Moorhead Ten Percent Society sent out a statement saying the hour-long march planned for Thursday night was canceled in light of the new information. The group also said it supports the police department's decision.

Paul Marquardt, 23, of Edina, originally told police he was attacked by four men last week who shouted derogatory comments about his sexual orientation. Marquardt said he was knocked unconscious.

Moorhead Deputy Police Chief Bob Larson said Tuesday there were several inconsistencies between the report Marquardt gave to police and information in the media that was attributed to Marquardt.

Police interviewed Marquardt again.

"Based on that interview it is no longer believed that a bias motivated crime took place," Larson said in a statement. "Marquardt informed investigators that he was not confronted nor did he hear any anti gay comments."

Larson said Marquardt now believes he was pushed down and injured by an unknown person or persons. The incident is still being investigated.

Messages left on Marquardt's cell phone were not immediately returned to The Associated Press.

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