Victim in D.C. attack: ‘I remember being kicked, called faggot’

LOU CHIBBARO JR. [e]Washington Blade[m]

WASHINGTON — 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.”

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)

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.

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

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.

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.”

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