March 28, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
‘I remember being kicked, called faggot’

The victim of a brutal anti-gay attack (left) underwent two surgeries in which his badly severed jaw was reattached with two permanent titanium plates. He spoke to the Blade this week on condition of anonymity and is pictured here at home with his partner. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A 29-year-old gay man spoke to the Blade Tuesday through jaws wired shut to facilitate the healing of facial injuries brought about by a brutal beating that extended over several streets near his home in Columbia Heights on March 12.

“It happened so fast,” said the man, who asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation from his unidentified attackers, who remain at large.

“I remember being dragged. I remember being kicked. I remember being yelled at and being called faggot,” he said. “And my mind wants to say there were three of them, but it’s all flashes.”

Sitting beside his partner at the kitchen table of the couple’s home, the two said they decided to grant a series of news media interviews this week to draw attention to a rash of violent incidents against members of the LGBT community.

Both said their spirits were lifted when they learned one day earlier, on Monday, March 26, that D.C. police arrested a 27-year-old woman in connection with the March 11 shooting of a gay man at the International House of Pancakes restaurant in Columbia Heights.

They say police have told them investigators are hopeful they will soon identify the attacker in the 29-year-old gay man’s case and will make one or more arrests in the case.

The IHOP restaurant is about seven blocks from where the 29-year-old gay man was attacked at Georgia Avenue and Irving Street, N.W., one day later.

The man shot at the IHOP, said to be 31, suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the abdomen. Witnesses said the shooting took place after the woman in custody, LaShawn Yvonne Carson, and two men with her called the victim anti-gay names and a scuffle broke out.

Similar to the incident involving the 29-year-old gay man who spoke to the Blade, police listed the shooting incident as a hate crime related to the victim’s perceived or actual sexual orientation.

The victim's jaw was broken in two places, requiring the insertion of two permanent titanium plates. (Courtesy image)

On the same day the 29-year-old gay man was beaten and robbed, a transgender woman was knocked unconscious at about 11:45 p.m. at West Virginia Avenue and Mt. Olivet Road, N.E. Police said they had insufficient evidence to list that incident as a hate crime, but they were looking into the possibility that it was.

The 29-year-old gay man and his partner said the two were also buoyed by a silent march organized by their friends that took place March 20, the day the 29-year-old beating victim was released from the hospital. As many as 700 people marched past where the attack against him took place after beginning the procession at the IHOP.

The victim said he was too weak to march after having spent eight days in the hospital. He underwent two surgeries in which his badly severed jaw, broken in two places by attackers who kicked him in the face, was reattached with two permanent titanium plates.

“It was stellar. It was reassuring,” he said of the march. “It makes me proud to be where I’m at — friends who I have in my life. And it gave me a lot of strength. It gave me a lot of security. It re-instills my faith in people.”

Although the attack against him began at Georgia Avenue and Irving Street, police said they found the victim four blocks away at Georgia and Morton Street. The victim said he recalls being dragged through an alley a short distance from Georgia Avenue after the initial attack.

The alley where the victim was allegedly dragged before being attacked by a second group and robbed of his iPhone and iPad. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

He said minutes after the attackers appear to have left him alone, he called his partner on his cell phone to tell him he had been attacked and needed help. But the partner said he sounded dazed and couldn’t say where he was.

Seconds later, the partner heard other people speaking to the victim. The victim told the Blade he believes another group of attackers beat and robbed him, taking his iPhone and the iPad he had in the briefcase he was carrying.

“It was really hard to be attacked the second time and think that someone would do that,” he said.

“I just want to give thanks for the amazing support and outpouring that we’ve had from everyone lately,” he said. “It makes me proud to be part of the community that I belong to.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

5 Comments
  • Demeterius Bailey

    My heart goes out to the victim and his partner. Great work by the Blade in keeping this story alive. Justice will be swiftly served.

  • My heart also goes out to the victim and his partner. Keep your head held high and know there’s many standing behind you.

  • One of these days, this cowardly group of trash, is going to call the wrong faggot, “faggot” and end up died on the street. We are not all hopeless like things and many of us can and will fight back. My prayers and wishes for a full recovery got out to their latest victim.

  • “Justice will be swiftly served.”

    I doubt it, Demeterius. It has been well over two weeks, after all. MPD, under Chief Lanier, has had a long history of treating violent crimes against LGBT people as a PR (public relations) problem, rather than a violent hate crimes problem perpetrated by divergent haters across our city– who are deliberately targeting LGBT people.

    Note well, people… consider the reported timeline of events and the extraordinary virulent injuries sustained by this courageous gay man in this case…

    He was violently assaulted TWICE. He was violently kicked and called a *FAGGOT*, apparently, also while being dragged intentionally to a secondary location in the alley– whereupon he was violently assaulted AGAIN. And THEN he was robbed by, perhaps, a second set of assailants.

    Yet despite this fairly explicit reported timeline and chain of events, MPD’s A.C. Peter Newsham has already soft-pedaled this case with an early press conference pronouncement (not attended by Chief of Police Lanier, BTW). Newsham and MPD has claimed that anti-LGBT hate/ bias was only a “secondary” motive to robbery. Really?

    MPD’s characterization does set a certain low expectation level for the public– pretty much in favor of MPD not pursuing this case as the SEPARATE and distinct hate crimes by TWO groups of assailants that it may very well have been.

    Convenient, huh? That’s especially so, if MPD’s brass believe the LGBT community has a short attention span and that LGBT people don’t really care much about their own public safety (see Chief Lanier’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee just a month ago, 29 February).

    Who does MPD think it’s kidding? It is time to consider whether the mistaken policies of the Chief Police, the attitudes of the Chief Police and the mixed messages she is deliberately conveying in public hearings and media talk shows regarding LGBT residents and their public safety are tacitly, however unintentionally, encouraging more violent anti-LGBT hate crimes.

  • can i see ur xray after your surgery

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