By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com October 14 2013 5:53 PM ET
Canadian authorities have charged a 19-year-old man with the attempted murder of a gay man, who is now paralyzed because of the attack.
Scott Jones, the 27-year-old victim, is in critical but stable condition after an assailant slashed his throat and stabbed him twice in the back early Saturday morning in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, according to his friend and roommate Amy Punke, who spoke with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about the attack. Jones had been on a bar crawl with friends when the assault took place.
The victim was rushed to a local emergency room and then airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The stabbing severed Jones's spinal cord, resulting in paralysis from the waist down.
Punke was not present during the attack but has been in touch with Jones. She, along with other friends and family members, believe the attack was a hate crime.
“Myself, and his family and the people that know him, we feel that he may have been targeted because of the fact that he’s gay — and he’s openly gay in town,” Punke told CBC.
Shane Edward Matheson, 19, was arrested later that day and charged with aggravated assault, attempted murder, and possession of a dangerous weapon. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.