Gay couple brutally attacked in Ohio. Warning to be on alert.
News has just gotten out about an attack against a gay couple in Ohio that happened late last week.
Bryson Beier and Mantej Sandhu were a couple very new to the South North area of Columbus, OH. The couple had just moved to Ohio from California a week and a half ago, and had chosen the area because they thought it would be a safe environment to live in. Around 2 a.m. on Saturday, January 28th, the two found out this wasn’t the case.
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The couple were leaving a bar and decided to walk home through an alley. It was then that they started getting harassment from a group of strangers.
The men were yelling out things like, “God hates fags,” and “You’re going to hell” towards the couple as the group headed towards their car.
It was then that the scene escalated as Sandhu recalls a bottle suddenly being thrown at them. He went further on to say, “They were saying, ‘You’re going to hell,’ and all that stuff. We at that point stopped, turned around, [and] we took a photo of the license plate.”
“I thought I was going to die. I thought for sure this was the end,” said Beier.
“They were like, ‘You trying to mess with my boy?’ And then all of the sudden they start, they punch me in the face, throw me on the ground. and next to me he was going through the same thing with the other five black guys,” said Sandhu. “Each took a turn- punch, kick. Punch, kick. They were like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ Punch, kick. ‘You like that?’”
Beier went further to express his own experience of the moment and how he naturally tried to endure the attack. “I don’t know if it was like my own personal self-protection or what, but my vision went black and my brain just kind of shut down and I almost stopped feeling for a minute.”
You can see the damage done to the couple by just looking at their faces. Sandhu’s face was arguably worse off with blood streaked across its swollen surface. As for Beier, while his face was visually less affected, it turns out that he was bruised all over and that his nose was fractured.
After the attack, not only are the faces of the couple battered and bruised, but so too is their perspective on the town and area that they had just moved to.
Police have stated that they’ve started to investigate the attack, but are unsure of labeling it as a hate crime as Ohio’s hate crime laws do not include sexual orientation or gender identity. That said, Prosecutors have told local news reporters that they will determine the filing of hate crime charges in the Columbus attack if need be. In the meantime, they will be labeling it as an assault.
In response to this attack and others, organizations like the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (or otherwise known as BRAVO) have issued warnings out to LGBTQI people in the area.
Part of the warning goes as goes:
“In the past week BRAVO has been made aware directly and via social media of recent reports of hate/bias violence and harassment of LGBTQI individuals. Some of the known incidents occurred in the local area of the Short North in Columbus, OH. There is a heightened sense of fear and seeming increase in these types of incidents in the past few weeks. BRAVO is here to help. It is never your fault if someone chooses to cause harm.”
BRAVO then goes on by giving out a contact number for victims of hate crimes like the one against Beier and Sandhu, “If you have been the victim of, or are aware of, hate/bias and/or harassment incidents please contact BRAVO at 614-294-7867 or 1-866-86-BRAVO. We can provide advocacy and crisis support services when needed and wanted. We are also keeping track of such incidents so we can continue to provide services and response when needs arise. These reports help BRAVO and help our collective communities.”
So far the police have only started their investigation and have not arrested the men who attacked Beier and Sandhu. When they do, national reporters like Gay Pop Buzz and local ones like WBNS-TV that broke the story, will share the news.
By: Devin Randall