Victim of Brutal Texas Beating Speaks Out

By Winston Gieseke

Originally published on Advocate.com November 04 2011 1:15 PM ET

Burke Burnett went to a Halloween party that turned into a night of true horror when he was stabbed and burned — all for being gay, he tells local news channel KTEN 10.

The 26-year-old, whose massive injuries are visible by the bandages around his arms, the gash on left eye, and the stab wounds in his torso, says the assault was clearly a hate crime because of the "name calling" and the "vicious, hateful slurs" that were hurled at him during the beating.

Burnett says he's lucky to have survived. "Thank God, this is my first experience with something like this. I know this happens all over but no, I've never had anything like this happen to me."

The police in Reno, Texas, where the assault occurred, say they have arrested and charged three suspects with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault to cause serious bodily injury. The Lamar County District Attorney has not yet ruled on whether or not to add hate crime charges.

"I hope that other people's awareness is also heightened because of this," Burnett said. "It still goes on and I hate that it does but it's an ugly reality."

Read more here. Watch the interview below.