SWANSEA, Wales — A freelance photographer has been blinded in one eye following an alleged anti-gay hate crime late last week in which his attackers threw gasoline in his face.
Tyler Maddick, 20, says he was targeted by three or four men in a car as he walked home in Swansea on Sept. 11, reports the BBC.
Maddick says he had just said goodbye to a friend at the railway station and was walking to his home when a car pulled up alongside him and he was verbally abused. The occupants yelled out a gay slur and then doused him in a liquid, which he later discovered was petrol.
“The next thing I know I have this liquid in my face. It disorientated me. Then my eye started to burn up.
“I’ve been told that because I had an infection in the eye anyway that lost 90% of my vision, the chemicals going into my eye has knocked out 100%. I’ve been told there’s a very high possibility that my vision won’t come back in that eye.”
Maddick said his sexual orientation is “quite obvious,” and suspects “they must have just picked up on it.”
Detective Inspector Mark Kavanagh of the Swansea Central police station, said: the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.