Christin Howard was brutally attacked in broad daylight along the Detroit Riverwalk outside the Motor City Pride Festival, an annual event for gays and lesbians. Then, to add insult to injury, someone actually filmed the entire attack while bystanders looked on. According to CNN, Howard stated that he believes he was targeted by the group of men because of his sexual orientation.
The brutal incident took place on Sunday, June 8. Howard, 22, explained that he had stopped on the riverwalk to pose for a picture with a friend he saw in passing. However, their friendly encounter was short-lived, because Howard was approached by a man who made his presence known by spewing out offensive slurs toward him.
“She wanted to take a picture with me. As we were posing for the picture this guy started saying, ‘Look at this (slur).’ I knew he was talking to me and I just tried to ignore it and not think about it. After that, that’s when he started to walk behind me.”
Howard went on to recount the brutal attack in detail. “He stood behind me and said, ‘This (gay slur) with the long hair, you think you have a right to wear long hair?'” Howard recalled. He also stated that five more men approached him and joined in with their own insulting epithets. He then asked were they about to jump him and the brutal attack began.
On Monday, June 9, a video of the attack was uploaded to YouTube. Howard can be seen being mauled by a group of young men as others watched. As a result of the attack, he suffered damage to his left eye, bruising and a broken finger.
Howard has stated that although he’s attended the festival many times, he doubts he’ll ever go back again.
“It scared me,” he said. “Now every time I see a group of guys I get that same feeling that I’m about to be bashed or they’re about to say something. I feel like I have quick flashbacks and just jump a little bit.”
Nicole Kirkwood, a public information office, released a brief statement on behalf of the Detroit Police Department. “We know about the video. We are seeking public assistance in identifying people in the video,” she said.
[Image via Bing]