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Gay man assaulted, called ‘faggot’ inside D.C. grocery store

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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A Washington, D.C., gay man says he was attacked July 2 inside a Safeway store by an unidentified woman who punched him several times in the face while calling him a faggot, reports the Washington Blade.

District-of-ColumbiaThe victim, Mark Rutstein, said Safeway employees told him the suspect is a regular customer and they believe she may be associated with gang members at a nearby public housing project.

Rutstein, 40, said the incident began when he approached a checkout line and asked the suspect, who was standing near but not directly in the line, if she was in line.

“So I walked up to the side of her and I said, ‘Excuse me, ma’am, are you in this line?’ And she looked at me as if she had more anger in her eyes than I have seen in a while,” said Rutstein.

He said the woman didn’t say anything, prompting him to ask her one more time if she was in line. She again gave him an angry expression but said nothing. Then, seconds later, the woman backed into him with her shoulder, turned around and began punching him in the face while calling him a “faggot,” he said.

“I grabbed her dreads and I pulled her dreads down onto the floor and I restrained her in that position while she was continuing to try to punch my face but my reach was too far,” Rutstein said. “And I’m screaming for security and for them to call the police. All of the people on the line and working at the registers were frozen,” he recounted.

Rutstein said that when store security and an assistant manager responded, they demanded that he let go of her hair and escorted her out of the store, allowing her to leave the scene.

Police have posted a YouTube video taken from store security cameras, hoping the public can help identify her.

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