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Iowa student dies after brutal beating in which attackers shouted gay slurs

Monday, August 22, 2011
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WATERLOO, Iowa — Police have confirmed the death of a 19-year-old college student who was brutally beaten in the early morning hours on Friday, and whose attackers shouted anti-gay slurs and kicked him in the face.

Marcellus Andrews

Marcellus Richard Andrews died on Sunday in the company of relatives and acquaintances after being removed from life support.

Andrews, who was slated to start studying interior design at Hawkeye Community College, spent part of Thursday practicing with members of the Crusaders, a drill team sponsored by Union Missionary Baptist Church. He led the step team for the group, which was days away from competing in March Against Darkness.

Night found him at Nakita Wright’s home on Cottage Street.

She said the problems started at about 12:45 a.m. Friday when she and Tudia Simpson, her cousin, went for a walk down the street. Andrews opted to stay behind, waiting on the enclosed porch, she said.

The two women hadn’t made it as far as Adams Street a block away when they heard yelling back at the house. They ran back and found a truck stopped in the street, and the occupants were taunting Andrews, calling him “faggot” and “Mercedes,” a feminization of his first name, Simpson said.

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From there, the fight was on, with Nakita Wright and the others joining in, according to their account.

At some point during the scuffle, Nakita Wright felt her leg brush against something on the ground. She looked down and saw Andrews.

“I tried to help him up, and then this boy ran back and kicked him in his face,” Nakita Wright said.

After the brawl ended, she tried helping Andrews to his feet. He appeared dazed. She grabbed one arm and coaxed him as she lifted. He pushed up with his other arm, but then gave up.

Full story: WCF Courier

Police and paramedics were called to the scene, and found Andrews with severe head trauma — he was airlifted to a local hospital.

Authorities are investigating the assault, and so far no arrests have been made.

A memorial page on Facebook has been established in Andrews’ memory.

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