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Texas Oil Executive Arrested in Attack on Gay Couple

Texas Oil Executive Arrested in Attack on Gay Couple


The head of an oil company stands accused of knocking a man unconscious after referring to him with an antigay slur.

Anthony Fera, the 51-year-old president of Houston-based MidStar Energy, is accused of behavior very unbecoming for an executive. He was charged this month with misdemeanor assault in connection with an attack on a married gay couple in Austin, reports the Austin-American Statesman.

The couple -- Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld -- were walking down the street in April when Fera pulled out in his truck and nearly ran them down, according to the police report. When Smith said, "You nearly hit us," Fera replied, "Fuck you, faggot," they told the Dallas Voice.

Fera then stopped his truck in the middle of traffic, got out, and threatened the men, they said. Words were exchanged and Fera punched Smith, knocking him unconscious before getting back in his truck and leaving the scene. Witnesses recorded the assault on their phones; they also captured Fera's license plate, which led to his arrest. Austin police are deciding whether to add hate-crime charges to Fera's assault charge; his bail was set at $5,000. Fera has been arrested "several other times in Texas and Pennsylvania," the Voice reports.

The newspaper posits that violent crimes against LGBT people could rise following the Supreme Court's imminent ruling on marriage equality. Read more on that in The Advocate's recent feature on the subject.

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