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Teen Accused of Breaking Into Gay Man's Home & Beating Him With Wrench

Police image of Ethan Dickerson
Image of Ethan Dickerson via Macon County Sheriff's Office

The 19-year-old duct-taped the victim to a chair and attacked the victim with the pipe wrench before police arrived, authorities say. 


A 19-year-old Illinois man is being held on $1 million bail after he allegedly attacked a man for being gay.

Authorities say Ethan Dickerson is facing preliminary charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful restraint, home invasion, and a hate crime after he allegedly beat and attempted to kill the person.

During the attack, Dickerson told the victim, "You know why I have to do this. ... You're gay. ... You're evil ... I'm going to kill you," according to a Decatur police affidavit, local newspaper The Herald & Review reports.

The paper notes that preliminary charges are reviewed by the state's attorney's office.

Court documents viewed by the paper state that police were sent to a residence at 5:30 p.m. last Thursday after a neighbor reported that someone had broken a window of the home.

When an officer got there they heard someone's voice inside calling for help. The officer identified himself and continued to hear screams for help. The officer then kicked down the front door, a court affidavit said.

The Herald & Review reports that the officer entered the home and saw Dickerson covered in blood. Dickerson dropped to his knees to be taken into custody. Police then found the victim in the kitchen with multiple cuts on his head and a "significant amount" of blood on himself.

Authorities discovered a pipe wrench and strands of duct tape covered in blood.

The victim told police that he had been in bed when he heard his front window break. When he got up to see what happened he found Dickerson running toward him. He said Dickerson began hitting him with the pipe.

According to the affidavit, the victim said that Dickerson then duct-taped him to the chair and continued to beat him. Eventually, he was able to free himself after Dickerson briefly left the room. However, when he returned, they wrestled until Dickerson began choking the victim with the pipe.

It was then that the officer arrived, according to the paper.

The victim was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries but did require stitches.

On Sunday, local LGBTQ+ activists gathered to protest the alleged attempted murder.

"It seems like people think that this happens in bigger cities, it happens in the movies, or way long ago. But it's right here, and it's in our town," activist August Reed told local station WAND.

Reed added: "I have a message to the attacker and every other aggressor who has committed a hate crime like this; you are not welcome here. You are not welcome here at all. No amount of hatred will erase us. No amount of violence will force us back into the closet."

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