Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Woman And Her Girlfriend Beaten In Homophobic Attack

Taken from the Chicago Tribune:
The two women clutched each other, pinned against a car by as many as 10 men who taunted them for being gay and took turns punching and kicking them on the dark street. “It was punches, kicks, everything being thrown at us,” said one of the women, 23. “We just held each other until somebody said, ‘Here come the police.’ ” 
Police have labeled the attack a hate crime and have charged one man so far. The rest remain at large.

The attack occurred late Saturday night as the women walked down North LeClaire Avenue in the South Austin neighborhood on the West Side.

A man they knew from the neighborhood started following them, the woman said. Earlier that night, the couple had passed him as he stood with other men. As has happened before, the woman's masculine dress prompted anti-gay slurs, she said. The woman's girlfriend, 25, told the men to stop, in vain, the woman said.

Now, as the man followed them, he kept shouting slurs and daring the woman to fight, she said. “Tell your b---- to stop looking at me,” the man told the woman's girlfriend, whom he knew from high school.

The woman said she did her best to ignore him but he kept following. Her girlfriend tried to reason with the man, asking him to leave the couple alone, the woman said.

But then a second man came up, cursing both of the women, and the first man took a swing and punched the woman, she said. The couple said they fought back and other men quickly joined in, dragging the women apart.

The couple struggled to get back together, pressed against a car as the beating continued and no one came by to help, the woman said. “I didn’t think we were going to make it out,” she said.

Finally, one of the men said the police were coming. The attackers, laughing, fled in one direction and the women went the other way. Both women had lost their shoes in the scramble, and someone had ripped one of the victim’s shirt off. The men stole their phones and cash.

No officers arrived, and the couple ran back to the woman's building and asked a neighbor for a phone to call for help. Bruised and bleeding from the nose and mouth, the woman said she passed out and woke up as paramedics were working on her in an ambulance.

At the hospital, doctors took a CT scan of her head and X-rays of her ribs and legs, she said. They found swelling but nothing broken. Her girlfriend was not as seriously injured.

Terry Glover, 24, of the 0-100 block of North Parkside Avenue, has been charged with two counts of felony hate crime and two counts of felony robbery. He is being held on $1 million bail. Police said they are still looking for the others.

The woman said she has left the neighborhood.

“It really shouldn’t matter who I like or who I love,” she said. “I should be able to walk the streets wherever I want to go and talk to whoever I want to talk to.”

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