Gay students beaten up at VCU

BY Advocate.com Editors

September 28 2002 12:00 AM ET

Two men have been arrested on charges that they assaulted students who attended a gay student association meeting at Virginia Commonwealth University. "What we've been told is that these people don't like individuals who engage in alternative lifestyles, and that's what prompted the whole thing," VCU police chief William B. Fuller said. "As far as I'm concerned, this was a hate crime."

Joye Abbott suffered a black eye and broken nose from repeated punches on September 18. Andy Roberts, 19, of Brooklyn, N.Y., has been charged with felony assault. Alain Jean-Baptiste, 18, of Richmond, has been charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly hitting Abbott and Kristopher Gaines, 20.

"I got away OK, better than others, without any visible injuries," Gaines said Thursday.

Fuller said there probably are other suspects, but no one has identified them. Similarly, there probably are more victims, he said, but none has come forward. Fuller has contacted state police and the FBI, both of which track hate crimes. He called the attacks "an isolated incident."

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