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Arizona

Police: Assault on Phoenix men was an anti-gay hate crime

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Phoenix man is recovering from a late night attack last Thursday in what police are calling an anti-gay hate crime.

Austin Head, a disc jockey, activist and star of Logo’s “Positive Youth” documentary, and an unidentified friend were attacked by two men while walking home from a local gay bar.

Austin Head
via: Facebook

According to Head, the two men started yelling gay slurs, and then began swinging.

“Two men targeted us for appearing ‘gay’ and (yelled) homophobic slurs,” Head told the Phoenix New Times.

“I was on my bike and my friend was on foot. He was a bit behind, so I stopped and waited on the corner for him to catch up when they crossed the street yelling slurs. They then attacked us both as we tried to flee with my friend attempting to get on the handle bars. They pushed us off the bike then proceeded with punching. I was knocked unconscious and eventually taken to the hospital by ambulance.”

During the fight, Head was knocked out cold.

“After being knocked unconscious, I woke up in the emergency room,” he said.

Watch a report from KNXV-TV:

Jermon Barnes, 22, and Ernie Barnes 24, were arrested shortly after the attack, and were both jailed on assault charges. Investigators said because they apparently targeted Head and his friend because they are gay, the charges were elevated.

Ernie Barnes (left) and Jermon Barnes.
Booking photos.

During the beating, Head suffered cuts, an eye injury and a broken bone in his face.

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24 more reader comments:

  1. :*(

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:50pm
  2. Do you think he wants his face on there? If I were assaulted, I wouldn’t want my face plastered on the internet.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:51pm
  3. it gets better…. i promise, hang in there <3

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:51pm
  4. am embarassed to ever say agin i came from there thank gos i will never go back

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:54pm
  5. they should get years in jail this is horrible

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:57pm
  6. @Rachel If you click the link below the photo, you’d see that the picture came from Austin’s Facebook page, so HE posted to the internet for all to see.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:01pm
  7. im using this article for my homophobia presentation at school

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:01pm
  8. My prayers go out to him. Is Arizona one of the states that allows for chemical castration?

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:02pm
  9. So sad

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:19pm
  10. This is terrible.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:22pm
  11. Ridiculous

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:22pm
  12. poor kid. id like to assault the guys who did it to him.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:23pm
  13. If this is true, I hope these homophobes are put away for the maximum time. Hate crimes are no different than terroristic acts

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:26pm
  14. sad and scary :(

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:40pm
  15. I can’t believe these things still happen. Really, I can’t believe they ever did. So needless.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:54pm
  16. I think that LGBT people can expect to see a rise in such incidents, especially in southern and other more conservative states. The actual numbers of these cases I think is devalued because too many refuse to either press charges, or file or give an accurate police report, out of fear of reprisal. Something needs to be done.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:08pm
  17. This shit needs to stop

    Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:41pm
  18. People are cowards. And the two motherf*ckers that did this are big time cowards.

    Give us rights, then give us rights to carry a weapon. People will back the f*ck off.

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 12:01am
  19. Things like this piss me off. Why does it bother anyone who is gay and who is straight. Dang mind your own business and crap like this wouldn’t happen and gay people wouldn’t be so freaking scared to come out.

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 4:09am
  20. I have no idea when they can be an adult. They are so childish, and cannot do any single thing by themselves, so they get together and do that. Awful. They should be hurt like that, if they hurt somebody, they have to be in some pain. If they ever kill somebody, then they have to be executed.

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 4:13am
  21. The two that committed the assault are probably on the DL anyway!

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 5:55am
  22. :n(

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 9:36pm
  23. I hope those 2 assholes rot in jail.

    Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:52pm
  24. Just execute them. No sympathy for thes bastards at all.

    Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:40am