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15 Brutal Attacks That Show Anti-LGBT Hate Is Still Very Real

Mitchell Pope: October 2014

Brooklyn, N.Y., resident Mitchell Pope was attacked by an unknown man October 12. Pope says he thought the man was a construction worker in the area and therefore let him into the lobby of his apartment building in the Crown Heights neighborhood. When the man entered he began yelling antigay slurs and attacked Pope in the stairwell with a hammer. The attacker fled when Pope began yelling for help, but the man stole Pope’s phone before leaving the building.


Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught: September 2014

Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught were attacked in Philadelphia September 11 by a group of people. The two men, a couple, were walking to a frozen yogurt shop in the Center City area when one man in the group reportedly began to verbally harass them. Hesse confronted the individual about what he said, which led to a fight. Haught was hospitalized, requiring surgery and having his jaw wired shut. Twitter users tracked down the attackers via a picture posted and tagged of the group at a restaurant in the area before the attack. Three people, Philip Williams, Kevin Harrigan, and Kathryn Knott, were arrested in connection with the attack and will face trial on felony aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy charges. 

Knott became the face of the alleged attackers after the investigation revealed that Knott is the daughter of Karl Knott, chief of police in Chalfont Borough, in neighboring Bucks County. It was also reported that Kathryn Knott’s Twitter account contained homophobic and racist tweets, and she was fired from her job as an emergency room technician at Lansdale Hospital because she had tweeted photos that could violate patient privacy. She further tweeted that she received special treatment because of her father’s position on the police force, leading to an investigation of Karl Knott.

The attack prompted a call to change hate-crimes law in Pennsylvania, which does not cover attacks motivated by the victim’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. 


Jean Claude "Jo" Manseau and Jake Heaton: November 2014

Jean Claude "Jo" Manseau and Jake Heaton were attacked by a group of men in Manchester, England, after singing songs from the musical Wicked on a public transit vehicle. The group, reportedly consisting of at least 15 people, began yelling antigay slurs at the two friends and followed them when they got off the tram and surrounded them. Manseau was knocked unconscious during the attack. Heaton was able to escape and call for help at a nearby store. In the weeks following, two people were arrested in connection with the attack, and supporters of Manseau and Heaton held a mass sing-along in the victims' honor.

Thailand Warr: November 2014

Thailand Warr was attacked by a group of seven people in the lobby of her Houston apartment building in November. Warr was preparing for a scheduled performance at the Houston Improv when she twice heard loud knocks at her door. There was no one at the door each time Warr opened it to check if someone was there. As Warr left, a group of five men and two women brutally attacked her; one stabbed her above the eye with a pocketknife, and others punched her, resulting in injuries to her head and chest. One of the men was the son of a tenant in the same building.

Victorville, Calif., Man: October 2014

A gay man, whose name has not been released, was beaten and robbed by three men in Victorville, Calif., October 28. Two of the accused attackers, Robert Anthony Fraire, 22, and an unidentified 17-year-old, were arrested a few days later, and Ethan Walker, 23 (pictured), suspected of planning the assault, was taken into custody this past weekend. Walker reportedly befriended the victim, then found out he was gay, and lured him to the site where he was attacked.


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Victims of Hell’s Kitchen Attacker: September 2014
A man being called the Hell’s Kitchen Attacker targeted at least two men in the New York neighborhood in September. The assailant, described as a 25-year-old Hispanic or white male, attacked one man September 7 on West 48th Street and 10th Avenue, and another September 14 on West 48th Street between 8th and 9th avenues. Both men reported being hit in the back of the head by the attacker around 4 a.m. The man attacked September 7 says police officers did not take him seriously and thought he was intoxicated.


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